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1891 



SAARBRUCK TO PARIS, 1870: A 
Strategical Sketch. 

B7 Lieut.-Col. SISSON C. PRATT, late r.a. Sketches 
and Maps. 5s. net. 

" This^ is the first issue of a Special Campaign Series planned 
by the pubUshers, which soldiers, especially junior of&cers, 
should find of very great value. The idea is to describe, from 
a, purely technical point of view, the famous campaigns of the 
19th century, and though it is probable that the editor will try 
to confine comment mainly to the strategy of the wars dealt 
with, readers may count upon the various writers affording 
useful tactical hints based on their reading of the material dealt 
with." — Glasgow Herald. 

" A clear and useful little work, plentifully supplied with 
maps." — Athen^um. 

" This strategical sketch is the first volume of a Special Cam- 
'gn Series which promises to be of great value as a military 
class book, and to the military student. Such a volume makes 
study a pleasure, and we hope that it will have a long list of 
successors." — Notts. Guardian 

" A volume (the first) in the Special Campaign Series, sketch- 
ing the strategy of the German invasion of France in 1870. 
Others are to deal with the Russo-Turkish war, and if they 
maintain the present high quality, the series (or a volume of it 
certainly) ought to find a place, with the proverbial baton, in 
every soldier's knapsack. The maps and sketches are clear, full, 
and excellent." — Pall Mall Gazette. 

" The series will certainly make a unique place for itself on 
our shelves, if all the volumes display the brilliant qualities of 
the initial volume." — Birmingham Post. 

" Col. Pratt is first in the field with a volume on the war 
which has been selected as the Special Campaign to be read up 
by ofiicers preparing for the Competitive Examinations for 
Commissions in the Army to be held in September, 1905, and 
March, 1906. It is fortunate for those who have to prepare to 
face the examiner that Col. Pratt has now turned his attention 
to the compilation of volumes on Military History. It is hoped 
that the Series will not only be useful for examination purposes, 
but may form the nucleus of an interesting library for the military 
student." — ^United Service Gazette. 

" The book will be of especial interest to military men at the 
present time, when another war is showing every day how steadily 
success preponderates on the side of a nation that has plans and 



equipments ready before the fighting begins." — ^Manchestke 
Guardian. 

" So long a time has elapsed since a military history series 
has been ofifered to British soldiers, that Messrs. Sonnenscheiri 
may claim the credit of bringing to fruition a virtually new idea. 
With the limitations common to all or almost all British military 
writers, the book before us is of great merit. We should select 
for particular notiee the vigorous and even dramatic account 
of the Sedan Campaign. The book is well illustrated by a good 
general map and numerous sketch maps." — Broad Arrow. 

" It gives a succinct account of the campaign, taking each 
episode in turn, and criticising the strategy of either side. Num- 
erous diagrams and maps help to elucidate the text of a little 
book, which will be of obvious use to the student of military 
tactics, but may be strongly recommended to a wider circle of 
readers." — Yorkshire Post. 

" An excellent sketch of what remains the most instructive 
of modem wars, accompanied by admirable maps upon which 
the student can follow the tactical as well as the strategical opera- 
tions of the campaign. Altogether this is a very valuable book." 
— United Service Magazine. 

" Lt.-Col. Pratt, in his strategical sketch, presents a com- 
pendium of the drama of the Franco-Prussian war, from the open- 
ing scene on the banks of the Saar, to the fall of the curtain upon 
beleagured Paris. The story, charged as it is with lessons 
for the soldier and statesman, is no less instructive to the general 
reader, in whose mind a careful study of the respective con- 
ditions of the opposing forces will leave but Uttle doubt that 
victory was assured to the Germans before a shot had been 
fired. . . . The student of military history need search no 
further than the Uttle volume under review in order to discover 
the chief causes that led to the swift and complete collapse of a 
Power esteemed by Europe so formidable a fighter that at the 
commencement of the war the great majority of maps intended 
to illustrate the campaign were projected eastward of the Rhine. 
The author's account of the German scheme of mobilization is 
very interesting and suggestive. So thorough is the organization 
that every reservist in the land knows the position assigned to 
him at the call to arms." — Madras Mail. 

" The intention underlying this Series is excellent, to bring 
the main outUnes of the campaign within the purview of many ' 
officers who have neither the time nor the opportunity to study 
for themselves a more detailed account. Special mention must 
be made of the ten excellent sketches and maps included in the 
volume. We would add that the form of treatment in this 
excellent Series should bring these books into the hands of a 
good many others besides those with whom war is a business." — 
Darlington Times. 



THE RUSSO-TURKISH WAR, 1877: 
A Strategical Sketch. 

By MAJOR F. MAURICE (The Sherwood For- 
esters). With 3 Maps. Crown 8vo. 5s. net. 

I " No student who can find time to give Major Maurice's work 
its due attention shodld neglect a single page of the narrative. 
The story is told so succinctly that the imagination is brought 
iiito play tliroughout, and yet no single detail necessary for the 
right direction of the student's imagination is omitted. The 
sound, sober common-sense he displays throughout in dealing 
with tactical problems merits the highest commendations in 
aiii age in which all sense of comparative historical treatment 
seems to have vanished and given place to modem theories. 
Tlie maps provided are exceptionally good and obviously 
prepared with the greatest possible care." — Broad Arrow. 

" This is the second volume of a very useful Special Campaign 
Series, and will prove of great value to officers of all ranks, 
especially to those who have leanings towards the study of 
mihtary history, a very necessary disposition in these days, when 
the officer has to look to proficiency in his profession as the only 
reUable means for obtaining advancement. The moment appears 
propitious for the publication of an account in English, and 
no one could have carried out this work in a more capable 
manner than Major Maurice has done. The book is weU got 
up, well bound in a neat cover, and has several maps to assist 
the student." — United Service Gazette. 

" This unpretentious httle book — a coinpanion to Saarbruck 
to Paris, 1870 — deals merely with the strategy and major tactics 
of the decisive part of the campaign in Europe. There is at the 
end a large scale map of the theatre of war in Bulgaria, based 
on the Austrian survey in 1S81 of the Balkan States." — Academy. 

" Written with well-considered conciseness and usefully 
equipped with illustrative maps, few books, if any, could be 
found better fitted for military students and junior officers 
desirous of a knowledge of the lessons which the campaign has 
for a soldier." — Scotsman. 

" This volume mairftains the credit of the series admirably. 
Major Maurice does not pretend to give a complete history of 
the war, but in fact, except that the final phase of the campaign 
after the fall of Plevna is very rapidly summarized, the war is 
very fully and minutely described indeed, considering the limit 
set by the style of the volume. The student is indebted to 



Major Maurice for the perfection with which the text is related 
to the first-class pocket maps, which are on more adequate 
scales." — Glasgow Herald. 

" There is little English literature deaUng with this campaign, 
and a. comprehensive strategical sketch such as Major Maurice 
gives in the present work was badly needed by the military 
student. It is a comprehensive and methodical survey of the 
whole campaign, and he has not failed to underline the points 
of principal application to English students." — Manchester 
Guardian. 

" Of very great value as a military class book. There is no 
other way of aquiring the art of war than lay studying the 
great campaigns of the past, and such a book as this renders 
the task much simpler and the subject much more intelligible 
to junior of&cers." — Nottingham Guardian. 

" As a strategical sketch of a great war here is an excellent 
example. The main outhnes of the campaign are described, 
together with the crucial episodes, but the chief aim is to advance 
what has been termed the science of war. A number of maps 
and diagrams serve to illustrate the te.xt and enhance consider- 
ably the value of the book as a means of military instruction." 
— Leeds Mercury. 

" Major Maurice makes the Russo-Turkish campaign deeply 
interesting, and brings the lessons of Plevna home to islanders 
to whom that struggle means much. The maps and plans are 

extremely clear and are not overburdened with detail." West 

Sussex Gazette. 



FREDERICKSBURG: A Study in 
War. 

By Major G. W. Redway. With Maps and Plans. 
Crown 8vo. 5^. net. 

" The story ia very effectively told by Major Redway, a, 
distinguished member of that increasing band of British officers 
who so satisfactorily disprove the once general impression, that 
men of high intellectual abilities and abundant professional 
knowledge, are not too rarely to be found in our army. The 
student of military history will be well rewarded by following 
this succinct narrative assimilating the tactical lessons of the 
great battle. He will see that the final success was the prize 
of the most capable general. He was an undoubted master of 
war, and his opponent Burnside decidedly his inferior in military 
capacity." — Pall Mall Gazette. 

" Major Redway's narrative is full of instruction for every 
thoughtful and even for every weU-read soldier. His criticisms 
are fair, temperate and made with an appreciation of the real 
nature of war which we look for in vain in most of our historians 
of war." — Broad Arrow. 

" This is the third volume of the ' Special Campaign ' series of 
books which are now being published by the above named enter- 
prising firm, and in full maintains the standard of excellence 
established by its predecessors. In a pocket at the end of the 
book are four excellent maps of the Eastern Theatre of War and 
of Fredericksburg and its neighbourhood, all particularly 
clear, and none of them, as is often the case, overladen with 
detail." — ^United Service Magazine. 

■ ' It is no faint praise to say that its merits as a Uterary study 
of war rival those of its predecessors." — Army and Navy 
Chronicle. 

" Rich in interest for soldiers who wish to understand how a 
powerful enemy may be beaten by raising the price of success, 
and wearing out rather than overthrowing his forces. Well 
based historical studies concisely written, and finished with a 
good equipment of instructive special maps, the work forms a 
valuable accession to the scenes in which it appears." — Scotsman. 

" Major Redway has made a very valuable addition to the 
' Special Campaign Series, and also a more than useful contribution 
to the history of the American Civil War. For he has evidently 
given time, pains and indubitable skill to the study of the mass 
of material available to the student, and has produced a story 
self-contained, careful, vivid, as well as specially adapted by its 



method for the military student. All the important movements 
and dispositions of the troops on either side are lucidly detailed, 
and can be followed on the maps, of which there are five as admir- 
able specimens of cartography as one would expect in a much 
more ambitious mOitary work." — Glasgow Herald. 

" The present volume presents a striking contrast to the story 
of a European campaign. From Saarbriick to Paris, with which 
the series commenced, and Major Red way has done his work 
admirably. His chapter on the ' American soldier — his social 
status and professional ability ' is one of the best studies on the 
subject that ever came under our notice." — Guardian. 

" The very fact that in the American War the South was so over- 
matched in wealth and resources makes all the more interesting 
a close study of their tactics and their strategy, influenced as 
these on both sides were by political as well as military considera- 
tions. The ' Campaign Series ' ought to be found in every 
military library." — Yorkshire Post. 

" The book offers an instructive contrast in methods adopted 
by an unskilful general on one side and by a great master of war 
on the other." — Manchester Guardian. 

" WhUe dealing mainly with the technical details of the cam- 
paign, the author's narrative is so lucid and so skilfully told 
that it may be followed with enjoyment and ease by the tyro, as 
well as the expert in military matters." — Dundee Advertiser. 



THE CAMPAIGN OF MAGENTA 

AND SOLFERINO 

1859 



THE SPECIAL CAMPAIGN 
SERIES 

Price 51, net, each. 

I. SAARBROCK to PARIS ! The 
Franco-German War. By Col. 
SissoN C. Pratt, late R.A. 

II. THE RUSSO-TURKISH WAR, 
1877. By Major F. Maurice. 

III. FREDERICKSBURG: A STUDY IN 

WAR, 1862. By Major G. W. 
Redway. 

IV. THE CAMPAIGN OF MAGENTA 

and SOLFERINO, 1S59. By Col. 
H. C. Wylly, C.B. 

In preparation. 

V. THE CAMPAIGN IN BOHEMIA, 

1866. By Lt.-Col. J. F. G. 
GlUnicke. 

VI. THE WATERLOO CAMPAIGN. 

By CoL SissoN C. Pratt, late R.A. 



This book is now published by 

Messrs. George Allen & Company, Ltd. 

RUSKIN HOUSE, 
44 & 45, RATHBONE PLACE, 

OXFORD STREET, LONDON, W. 

to whom all orders should be sent. 

APRIL, 1911. 



SPECIAL CAMPAIGN SERIES. No. 4 

THE CAMPAIGN OF 

MAGENTA AND 

SOLFERINO 

1859 



By 

COLONEL H. C. WYLLY, C.B 

LaU The Sherwood Foresters, Nottinghamshire and 
Derbyshire Regiment 




LONDON 

SWAN SONNENSCHEIN & CO., LIM 

New York : THE MACMILLAN COMPANY 
1907 



fs 



PREFACE 

The campaign of 1859 in Northern Italy was one of the 
first of the epoch-making, rapidly conducted wars which 
marked the latter half of the nineteenth century. It 
was, moreover, as has been pointed out by the author 
of Impend Strategy, the " first war in Europe which 
conveyed some preliminary indication of what railways 
can accompHsh. The success of the French Army in 
this short and brilliant, if rather lucky, campaign was 
largely due to the efficient service of the southern rail- 
ways." A study of the events of the war and of the 
various considerations which led to the somewhat un- 
expected determination to make peace, leads one to the 
conviction that, while a lavish expenditure on the out- 
break of war can so far repair the neglect of the years of 
peace and plenty that armies may be improvised for a 
campaign of short duration, neither hurried organisa- 
tion nor make-shift armies are equal to a protracted effort, 
or to oppose the forces of those who have used the 
long years of peace to prepare for the days of war. 

So far as I am aware this is the first study of the war, 
compiled from official sources, which has yet appeared 
in the English language. Several short accoimts of the 
events of the campaign were published within a few 



xii PREFACE 

months of its conclusion, but all these were based upon 
contemporary and unofficial accounts. In this short 
history I have followed, at a respectful distance, the 
general arrangement of the French official account, 
while I have taken the descriptions of the country and 
of the battlefields almost entirely from the writings 
of the difierent newspaper correspondents of that day. 
The large map is a copy of a portion of one in ''la 
campagne de Napoleon III en Italic. " 

H. C. W. 



LIST OF WORKS CONSULTED 

Campagne de Napoleon III en Italie, 1859 ; — Redigee au depot 

de la guerre. 
Dor Krieg in Italien 1859 ; — Generalstabs-Bureau fur Kriegs- 

geschiohte. 
Der Italienische Feldzug des Jahres 1859 ; — General Count von 

Moltke. 
La campagne d' Italie de 1859 ; — Baron de Bazancourt. 
Relation historique et critique de la campagne d' Italie en 1859 .• 

— Ferdinand Leoomte. 
Der Italienische Krieg 1859 ; — W. Eiistow. 
Great Campaigns : — ^Major 0. Adams. 
Operations of War : — General Sir E. B. Hamley, K.C.B. 
A Study of the Italian Campaign in 1859 ; — Major Miller, R.A. 
The War in Italy : — The author of the Times Letters. 
La guerre modeme : — V. Derrecagaix. 
Magenta : — Lt. -General von Caemmerer 
Campagnes modernes : — Lt. CoL J. ViaL 
Etudes sommaires des hataiUes dun siecle : — Ch. Romagny et 

Piales d'Axtrez. 
Modern Italy : — Pietro Orsi. 
Un souvenir de Solferino : — J. H. Dunant. 
Documents officids sur la campagne d Italie en 1859 ; 
Skizze des Feldzuges 1859 in Italien : — von einem siiddeutsohen 
Offlzier. 



xiv LIST OF WORKS CONSULTED 

Life of Napoleon III :—P. G. HiU. 

Lettres d'ltalie : — Amed6e Achard. 

A German view of the Italian War : — from the U.S. Mag. for 

Sept. 1859. 
La Guerre d'ltalie 1859 .■ — Alfred Duquet. 
The Italian campaign of 1859 .• — Edinburgh Review, 1859. 



ERRATA 

Plan VI. Solpeedto 

For Desanzo, read Desenzano 

Dele, R. Chiese. 



CONTENTS 



PAGE 

CHAPTER I 
Prepabations fob Was, 3 

CHAPTER II 
The Attsteian Advance to the Sesia ... 17 

CHAPTER III 
Action at Montbbello 43 

CHAPTER IV 

The Flank Maech by the Allies and the Fighting at 

\ Palestbo 65 

' CHAPTER V 

I 
The Aitsteians Recboss the Ticino and the French 

i OccTTPT Robecchetto ...... 89 

CHAPTER VI 
The Battle op Magenta 113 

CHAPTER VII 
The Action at Melegnano 145 



xvi CONTENTS 

PAGE 

CHAPTER Vni 

Movements of the Vth French Corps — Action at Castb- 

NEDOLO — AUSTRIAN'S ReTRBAT BEHIND THE MeNCIO. 167 

CHAPTER IX 
The Battle ob Solperino ..... 191 

CHAPTER X 
The Peace of Villabranca 227 

APPENDIX A. 
Order op Battle ob the three Armies on 4th June 

1859 235 

APPENDIX B. 
Order of Battle of the three Armies on 24th June 

1859 238 



LIST OF MAPS AND PLANS ' 

[In pocket at end of book]. 

I. General Map ob the Theatre of War in Northern 
Italy 
II. Plan ob the Action at Montebello 

III. Plan ob the Action at Palestro on May 31 

IV. Plan of the Battle ob Maqenta 
V. Plan of the Action at Melegnano 

VI. Plan of the Battle of Solfeeino 



PREPAEATIONS FOR WAE 



CHAPTER I 

PREPARATIONS FOR WAR 

For centuries the nations of Europe had treated Italy 
as their battlefield. Swiss mercenaries, German lanz- 
knechts, French and Spanish men-at-arms have all 
at various periods trampled Italy under foot and looked 
upon her as a conquered country ; campaign has fol- 
lowed upon campaign, and in few of these have the 
natives of the country had any real or abiding interest, 
while in all of them have they most grievously sufEered. 

With the close of the war of the Spanish Succession, 
Austria became the possessor of the Spanish dominions 
in Italy, and, giving up the Two Sicilies to the Bourbons, 
ruled the smaller states of the Peninsula. By the 
terms of the Peace of Utrecht, Victor Amadeus II of 
Savoy and Piedmont had obtained Sicily ; but in con- 
sequence of the attempts of Cardinal Alberord, the 
Spanish Minister, to recover the lost ItaUan provinces, 
the Emperor Charles VI had insisted upon Amadeus 
ceding Sicily to him, and taking in exchange the King- 
dom of Sardinia, and thus the title of " King of Sardinia " 
was borne henceforward by those who ruled in Piedmont 
and Savoy. 

The invasions of Buonaparte shattered temporarily 
the power of Austria, while they introduced the teachings 



THE CAMPAIGN OF 



of the Revolution to the down-trodden peoples of North- 
ern Italy and turned their thoughts to the " Risorgi- 
mento." The Kingdom of Italy, which Napoleon had 
created and whose crown he had assumed, fell with 
him, and the former governments were at once restored. 
The Congress of Vienna gave Lombardy and Venetia 
to Austria and Genoa to Savoy, while members of the 
House of Habsburg reigned in Parma, Modena and 
Tuscany. In 1831 Charles Albert became King of 
Sardinia, and by him the idea of a free and united Italy 
was fostered and encouraged. When in 1848 the news 
of the revolutions in France and Austria reached Italy, 
Venice and Lombardy rose in revolt, drove the Austrian 
troops under the guns of the Quadrilateral and asked 
help of Piedmont. Tuscany sent troops, Ferdinand 
of Naples promised assistance, the Pope sent 17,000 
men, and thus encouraged and supported Charles 
Albert took the field against the Austrians ; successful 
at Goito, the Itahans were defeated by the veteran 
Radetzky at Curtatone, Custoza and Novara, where^ 
upon Charles Albert capitulated and abdicated the 
throne in favour of his son Victor Emmanuel. } 

It was the Crimean War which first gave Piedmont 
an opportunity of asserting herself among the nations 
of Europe. Count Cavour had now become Prim^ 
Minister, and it seemed to him that by intervening 
in so momentous a struggle, his country would acquire 
an increased importance among the Powers ; and in 
spite of many difficulties he succeeded in effecting an 
alhance with England and France, under which 15,000 
Piedmontese troops proceeded to the Crimea under 
General La Marmora. At the Congress of Paris in 



, MAGENTA AND SOLFERINO, 1859 5 

18^6 Cavour drew attention to the danger which now 
threatened Italy in general, and Piedmont in particular, 
pointing out that the military occupation by Austria 
of the greater part of the Peninsula was effectually 
destroying the political balance of power in the various 
states. 

In the summer of 1858 Napoleon III met Count 
Cavour at Plombieres, where a treaty of alliance was 
drawn up, under which it was agreed that France 
should come to the assistance of Piedmont in the event 
of the latter being attacked by Austria. At a reception 
of the Corps Bijilomaiique on January 1, 1859,' the 
Emperor of the French used the following words to 
the Austrian ambassador : " Je regrette que les relations 
entre nous soient si mauvaises ; dites cependant d, 
votre souverain que mes sentiments pour lui ne sent 
pas changes." In face of the attitude now assumed 
by France and Piedmont, Austria despatched fresh 
troops to various points on the Piedmontese frontier, 
to which measures Cavour replied by asking ParUament 
jfor a special credit and by calling upon Garibaldi to 
{raise a corps of volunteers. England and Russia now 
Suggested that all difficulties should be laid for settle- 
inent before an international congress, to which pro- 
posal the French Emperor acceded. Austria, however, 
ilnsisted that Piedmont should first disarm, and on 
April 23 she followed up this demand by an ultimatum 
to be answered within three days. On the 26th the 
jultimatum was rejected, and after a delay, occasioned 
by renewed efforts at mediation on the part of England, 
tihe Austrian troops crossed— on April 29 — the frontier 
between Lombardy and Piedmont. 



THE CAMPAIGN OF 



Before detailing the preparations which each of 
the three Powers had made and was still perfecting 
against the impending struggle, it may be well to offer 
some description of the country wherein great events 
were about to transpire. " That portion in which 
the more active part of the campaign took place hes 
between Turin and Mantua, and may be described in 
general terms as a plain, ninety miles long and thirty 
broad, with the River Po forming its southern boundary. 
It is crossed from north to south by several rivers — the 
majority of them with wide gravelly beds and very 
empty during the heats of summer ; sometimes two 
or three channels separated by islands and sandbanks; 
The Po is considerably larger than any of its tribuj- 
taries, and at Valenza, below its junction with the 
Sesia, the stream in winter is 550 yards wide. Tract^ 
of marshy ground, thick with bushes and trees, border! 
the Po on either side, and the embankments, made to 
preserve the country from inundations, have caused 
the bed of the river to raise itself above the original! 
level. In 1859 the land was very. closely cultivated — I 
vines, com and rice — and was intersected in every 
direction by irrigation channels. The whole country! 
was Hke one vast orchard, being planted closely witl^ 
young fruit trees, impeding the view in every direction^ 
Villages were numerous and each one had its cemeterj' 
beside it — square enclosures with stone walls eight to 
fifteen feet high, entered by an iron gate with a gratec . 
opening on either side. The roads were of three classes — 
strade reale or postale, strade provinciale, and strade 
communale ; the first were excellent, the second good] 
while the third were often mere tracks, quickly bei 



MAGENTA AND SOLFERINO, 1859 7 

coming impassable in bad weather or mider much traffic. 
Most of the railways were only single lines." 

In view of the support, moral and material, which 
Napoleon had given or was pledged to afford Piedmont 
in her quarrel with Austria, there can be no doubt 
that the rapid passing of events preliminary to the 
outbreak of hostihties, found the French army danger- 
ously unprepared. It is true that on January 1, 1859, 
the effective strength of the French forces amounted 
to close upon 562,000 men, but of these some 163,000 
were en conge renouvddble ; the artillery was deficient 
of nearly 25,000 horses, which had to be purchased 
between the beginning of the year and the commence- 
ment of the war ; while this arm of the service was at 
phis very time engaged in the process of re-armament 
with a new rifled field-gun. The infantry was almost 
jequaUy unprepared ; the issue of a new rifle had, it 
is true, been just completed, but the arsenals contained 
in January — ^barely four months before the Austrian 
iiltimatimi reached Turin — only fourteen million rounds, 
ivhich had been manufactured and stored as practice 
ammunition for the annual course of musketry which 
was to have begun in February. The stores contained 
clothing, equipment and camp equipage for rather 
^ ess than four hundred thousand men ; there was any 
imotint of transport material in the parks at Vernon 
and Chateauroux, but men, horses and mules were 
wanting ; and as late even as the begLoning of April, 
the reserve supphes of rations and forage were wholly 
insufficient for the large force which might well be 
expected to take the field within a few days. 



THE CAMPAIGN OF 



By immense exertions and by means of a lavish 
expenditure these deficiencies were in great measure 
made good. By recalling men to the Colours, by 
voluntary re-engagements, by calling in the men of 
the 1857 class still remaining to be incorporated and 
also the contingent for 1858, the total efEective strength 
of the French Army was raised to a grand total of 
639,000 men. By large purchases of remounts and 
by the transfer to the artillery of 4,000 men from the 
two other arms, the whole of the artillery of the four 
first corps of the Army of Italy was completely organised 
within twenty days ; sixty batteries were to have 
been armed with the new rifled gim during the financial 
year 1859, but events marched so rapidly that thd 
execution of this intention had perforce to be abandoned! 
• and France eventually took the field with only thirty-l 
two batteries armed on the new system. Orders for 
a hundred nulhon rounds of small arm ammunition! 
were placed with different manufactories, while con-i 
tracts for the soldiers' clothing, tentage and equipment 
were given out, and were taken up and executed with 
such dispatch that, on the actual outbreak of war^ 
almost everything necessary was ready for issue to thei 
units under orders for Italy. The Transport Depart- 
ment was greatly expanded in regard to 'personnel, 
while later on, during the course of the campaign, an 
auxiliary train of civihan employes with private wagons 
was organized and proved of the greatest service. In 
regard, too, to Commissariat suppHes, immense order^ 
for biscuit were placed in London and Liverpool, whil0 
Colonel Saget, of the French General Staff, was fortu-- 
nately able to arrange with the Sardinian government 



MAGENTA AND SOLFERINO, 1859 9 

for seventeen days' rations for 100,000 men, with forage 
for 10,000 animals, to be ready stored for the use of 
the French troops at six different depots on Italian 
soil. 

Ever since the disastrous campaign of 1849 the mihtary 
organization of the Kingdom of Sardinia and the 
development of its warhke resources had been the chief 
care of successive governments. The creation of the 
new army had been the work of the last ten anxious 
years; it 'had been entirely remodelled and had lost 
that exclusive class-colouring which had formerly 
distinguished it, and which had doubtless contributed 
in some degree to its failure in the last struggle with 
Austria. As the Piedmontese Army was to be the 
nucleus round which soldiers from all parts of Italy 
were to group themselves, it was felt that it could not 
remain so exclusively aristocratic, but must be popular- 
ised, and whatever was effected in this direction was 
generally and justly attributed to General La Marmora. 
By a patient process of years a cad/re was thus formed 
on a sufficiently broad and expansive basis to include 
the elements from the rest of the Peninsula in the event 
of an Italian war of independence. 

The Kingdom was divided into five military divisions — 
Turin, Chambery (Savoy), Alessandria, Genoa and Cag- 
liari (Sardinia) — and into two subdivisions — ^Novara and 
Nice. The peace strength of the army was 49,000 men 
with 80 guns, and it was capable of expansion to nearly 
87,000 with 160 guns on the outbreak of war. This 
force was distributed among 90 battaUons of infantry, 
9 regiments of cavalry and 15 batteries, and was 'or- 



10 THE CAMPAIGN OF 

ganised in one cavalry division and five infantry divisions, 
each of two brigades, the whole being under the imme- 
diate command of King Victor Emmanuel. 

With the pubUcation of the Emperor Napoleon's 
speech of January 1, great preparations for war were 
at once put in hand by the Sardinian government ; 
suppUes were hastUy thrown into the fortresses of 
Casale and Alessandria ; fortified camps were prepared ; 
the defences of Valen^a were strengthened ; large 
purchases of animals and clothing were made ; and 
60,000 rifles were ordered in France to replace the 
smooth-bore muskets with which the Itahan infantry 
was armed. The agitation began to spread all over 
the Peninsula and especially in Upper and Central 
Italy. " The Italian National Society," which had 
been formed under Garibaldi, La Farina and PaUaviciho 
to promote the Itahan movement, had succeeded in 
establishing an understanding with aU the most in- 
fluential men, and by their exertions thousands of youths 
were enabled to come into Piedmont to enlist. In 
the month of March alone close upon 6,000 volunteers 
were enrolled by the commissioner specially appointed 
for that purpose in Turin — ^half of these being from 
Lombardy and the remainder from Central Italy, and 
altogether it is computed that some 14,500 men were 
voluntarily enlisted. 

The Piedmontese were no match single-handed for 
the large forces which Austria had abeady ranged — or 
was in process of concentrating — ^upon their eastern 
frontier. It was therefore necessary to take up som6 
strong defensive position wherein they could await 
the arrival of the French troops, which, on the declara- 



MAGENTA AND SOLFERINO, 1859 11 

tion of war, would at once begin to arrive in Piedmont, 
either by Susa through and over the passes of the Alps 
or by sea by way of Toulon and Genoa. General Niel, 
aide-de-camp to the Emperor of the French, had been 
sent early to Turin to concert measures of defence with 
General La Marmora, and by them it was decided that 
a position should be taken up on the right bank of the 
Dora Baltea, between the village of Mazze and the Po, 
as it was considered that the Austrians would be unlikely 
to risk an advance on Turin from the east, but would 
more probably move on the capital by VerceUi, threat- 
ening at the same time the debouches of the French 
columns from the Alps. The Italian forces were con- 
sequently thus disposed : 

One division covering the valley of the Scrivia and 
Genoa. 

One division occupying Alessandria. 

One division occupying Casale, watching the hue 
of the Po at Valenza and maintaining communication 
between Casale and Alessandria ; this distribution 
thus left only two infantry divisions, the cavaby and 
Garibaldi's corps to oppose the passage of the Dora 
. Baltea. It was hoped, however, that the march of 
the Austrians from the Ticino- might be so delayed as 
to extend over five or six days, by which time the 
French Army — debouching rapidly from the passes 
of the Alps and using the two available Hnes of railway — 
might weU be able to place the best part of three divisions 
in line with the Piedmontese. 

The Austrian Army — having a peace strength of 
334,000 and a strength on a war footing of 720,000— was 



12 THE CAMPAIGN OF 

organised in four armies and twelve corps : at the end 
of 1858 the Second Army — strength 44,837 men with 
104 guns — under Count Gyulai, formed the normal gar- 
rison of Northern Italy, with the Vth, Vllth and Vlllth 
Corps, of which it was composed, occupying Milan, 
Verona and Padua respectively. The infantry was 
in process of re-armament with a new rifle, but only a 
smaU number of these had been issued and many units 
did not receive the new weapon' until actually on the 
march to the theatre of war. Already in November, 
1858, matters were beginning to assume so threatening 
an aspect, that it was decided to raise the strength 
of the Second Army to 76,000 men with 200 guns, and 
further to arrange for the dispatch to Italy at short 
notice of the Ilird Corps, but on a peace footing only, 
taking steps, however, for increasing the number of 
the effectives of these four corps to a total of 170,000 
men at ten weeks' notice. G3ailai represented that 
such a force was quite inadequate to guard against 
all possible eventualities, and reminded thejWar Ministry 
that similar half-measures in 1848 had obliged his pre- 
decessor Radetzky temporarily to loosen his hold upon 
Lombardy. These representations were, however, dis- 
regarded, and the Ministry proceeded to carry out 
the scheme already suggested. The Illrd Corps was 
moved to Italy early in January, and on its arrival the 
following was the dispositionof the four Austrian corps : — 

The Vth Corps, with one brigade of the Illrd, between 
the Ticino and the Adda ; 

The Vllth Corps between the Mincio and the Adige ; 

The Vlllth Corps in the Legations and in Venetia ; 
while of the remaining brigades of the Illrd 



MAGENTA AND SOLFERINO, 1859 13 

Corps one was in Brescia, one in Bergamo, one 
in Cremona and one in Lodi and Crema.^ 

On February 15 the Ilnd Corps followed the Ilird 
to Italy and arrived in Milan on March 3. 

It now appearing to be inevitable that Austria would, 
in the event of war, have to deal both with France 
and Piedmont, orders were issued on April 5 and 6 for 
the five corps already in Italy to be at once brought 
up t6 war strength, and on the 13th the IXth Corps also 
left Vienna for the front. 

Towards the latter end of April the five corps (Ilnd, 
Ilird, Vth, Vllth and Vlllth), already standing ready 
behind the Ticino, were made up as follows : 



Army Corps. 


Divisions. 


Brigades. 


Battalions. 


Squadrons. 


Guns. 


Hnd . . . 


2 


4 


20 




40 


nird . . . 


2 


4 


24 


8 


56 


Vth . . . 


2 


5 


24 


8 


64 


vnth . . 


2 


4 


18 


4 


48 


VlUth . . 


2 


4 


20 


4 


48 


Reserves 












1 Infantry 
Division . 




3 


14 


3i 


28 


1 Cavalry 
Division . 




2 




24 


16 


Artillery 










116 



12 divisions. 26 brigades. 120 battalions. 51J squadrons. 
416 guna. 

There were also 46 battalions of occupation or garrison 
troops, with a few guns and a small body of cavalry. 



' At this period the Ilird Corps contained 5 brigades. 



14 THE CAMPAIGN OF '59 

The total strength of the Austrian forces in the Peninsula 
amounted to nearly 230,000 men, but from this total 
some 70,000 must be deducted, required for the main- 
tenance of order and for garrison duty in the Austrian 
possessions in Italy, leaving barely 160,000 men available 
to take the ofEensive beyond the frontier. 

On April 25 the Imperial forces were thus distributed : 
the Ilnd Corps between S. Angiolo and Lodi, the Illrd 
Corps at Pavia, the Vth between Pavia and Milan, 
the Vllth between Bereguardo and Abbiategrasso 
on the Ticino, and the Vlllth at Piacenza. The two 
brigades of the Cavalry Division were in Crema and 
Manerbio, while of the Reserve Infantry Division, one 
brigade was on its way to joui the Ilnd Corps and the 
other two were in Brescia and Bologna. On April 27, 
reports were received at Austrian Headquarters that 
French ships had already arrived in Genoa, that the 
disembarkation of men and material was proceeding 
rapidly, and that French troops were marching to Italy 
through Savoy. Gyulai had already arranged for the 
violation of the frontier to commence on the 30th, but 
on the morning of the 29th these orders were cancelled 
and the passage of the Ticino was at once begim by the 
Vllth and Vth Corps at Bereguardo, wMle the Ilird, 
Vlllth and Ilnd, concentrating at Pavia, crossed the 
river by the stone bridge at that town and by pontoons 
which had previously been thrown across. 

By night on the 30th practically the whole of Austria's 
striking force had arrived upon hostile territory. 



THE AUSTRIAN ADVANCE TO THE SESIA 



CHAPTER II 

THE AtrSTEIAN ADVANCE TO THE SESIA 

In the meantime the French had quietly, but with 
dispatch; continued their preparations for placing their 
army upon a war footing and for holding it in readiness 
for an immediate advance. 

A large number of the veteran troops quartered in 
Africa were ordered to be transferred to France, their 
places being taken by less experienced soldiers, and 
eight divisions of infantry and one of cavalry were 
standing ready by the middle of April, behind the Alps 
or between Lyons and the sea, to advance into Italy 
through the mountain passes or by sea to Genoa. By 
April 21 the French Government had fully made up 
its mind as to the hostile intentions of Austria, and on 
that date orders were issued for the formation of four 
army corps which, with the Imperial Guard, were to 
be known as " the Army of the Alps " — a title almost 
immediately altered to that of " the Army of Italy." 
Of this army the Emperor Napoleon III himseK took 
command, while the subordinate commands were filled 
as follows : — 

The Imperial Guard — General Regnaud de Saint Jean 

d'Angely ; 

17 e 



i8 THE CAMPAIGN OF 

Tte 1st Army Corps — ^Marshal Count Baraguey 
d'HilUers ; 

Tte Ilnd Army Corps — General de MacMahon ; 

The Ilird Army Corps — Marshal Canrobert ; and the 
IVth Corps — General Niel. The command of the artil- 
lery was held by General le Boeuf, and that of the 
engineers by General Frossard. The Ilird and IVth Corps 
were directed to move into Italy by the Alps, while 
the two divisions of the Imperial Guard and the 1st 
and Ilnd Corps were ordered to Marseilles and Toulon 
for embarkation for Genoa. The Ilnd Corps was very 
largely composed of troops serving in Africa, whose 
transfer to French soil had not yet been quite com- 
pleted, and these were consequently ordered to proceed 
direct to Genoa from Algerian ports. 

Of the available cavalry one division was attached 
to the 1st and another to the Ilird Corps, while to the 
Ilnd and IVth a brigade each only was allotted. 

On April 25 the following movements were initiated ; 
the division Bouat of Canrobert's Corps was entrained 
at Lyons, reached railhead at St. Jean de Maurienne, 
and by the 28th had crossed the Mont Cenis and de- 
bouched at Susa.'^ Bourbaki's Division of the same 
corps was directed on Brian9on, and ordered to move 
at once into Piedmont, and by the 28th Ducrot's Brigade 
of that division had surmounted the Mont Genevre. 
On the 25th the division Renault of the Ilird Corps 
marched on Montmelian in the direction of Mont Cenis. 
The IVth Corps followed close behind the Ilird and was 
succeeded by the cavalry of both. 

* Bouat died almost immediately of sunstroke and was sue- 
peeded by Trochu. 



MAGENTA AND SOLFERINO, 1859 19 

The movements by sea were executed with equal 
rapidity. Bazaine's Division of the 1st Corps was already 
on the 29th beguming to disembark at Genoa ; the divi- 
sions Ladmirault and Forey were put on board the 
transports as fast as they reached Toulon and Marseilles, 
as were also the troops of the Imperial Guard arriving 
at these ports from Paris, while transports were working 
between Genoa and the Algerian ports conveying the 
matured soldiers of the Army of Africa. The cavalry 
division of the Guard, having been trained from Paris 
to Marseilles, followed thence by march route the 
Corniche road to Genoa. 

While these various movements were in course of 
execution, the formation of a Vth Corps was under- 
taken ; this was placed under the orders of Prince 
Napoleon, and the two divisions of which it was com- 
posed were commanded by Generals D'Autemarre and 
Uhrich. The 1st Division was entirely made up of 
troops from the African garrisons, while the 2nd was 
formed of regiments from Paris. 

In preparing for a campaign beyond the frontiers of 
the Empire, it was imperative that the defence of the 
country, whence so large a force was to be withdrawn, 
should be neither neglected nor overlooked. To keep 
order in the interior of France and to safeguard her 
borders the following dispositions were made : Marshal 
de Castellane was placed in command of three infantry 
divisions — one at Besan9on and two — with a cavalry 
division — at Lyons ; Marshal Magnan was at the head of 
four divisions of infantry, of which two were in Paris, 
one at Lille and one at Mezieres ; while Marshal Pelis- 
sier, Duke de MalakofE, united under his command 



20 THE CAMPAIGN OF 

four divisions of infantry and four of cavalry, wMch 
were dispersed in Chalons, Metz, LuneviUe and Stras- 
bourg. 

It must be admitted that if the near approach of war 
found the armies of France in great measure unprepared 
for a struggle with her ancient foe, extraordinarily 
successful efforts had been made within the course of 
a month to atone for the perilous condition of un- 
readiness to which the country had been permitted to 
relapse after the termination of the Crimean War. Ex- 
perience has over and over again taught nations and 
individuals that the neglected work of years cannot be 
made good in a few feverish days when war is imminent ; 
in many respects the French armies were anything but 
thoroughly equipped for a stern campaign, but the fact 
remains that in something like twenty-five days an army 
of 100,000 men of all arms had been collected in France 
and in Algeria and set down in Piedmont, ready, so far 
as the casual observer could judge, for all the exigencies 
of war. 

It will be noticed that while the advance of the Aus- 
trians on the 29th — ^when they crossed the frontier 
between Lombardy and Piedmont — actually opened 
the campaign, the first infringement of existing treaties 
came from France, whose troops advanced into Savoy 
on the 25th. Some days, however, before that date, 
it was known that war was inevitable ; it is true that 
Austria's ultimatum was not presented in Turin before 
the 23rd, but to the parties most nearly concerned its 
contents was well known as early as the 21st. The 
result made itself felt ; before the memorandum was even 
presented, the railway had carried French troops to the 



MAGENTA AND SOLFERINO, 1859 21 

Piedmontese frontier, while many thousand soldiers 
were concentrated in Toulon and Marseilles. Ten 
steamers of the Messageries were lying in the JoKette 
Harbour ready to take troops on board ; a number of 
old paddle-wheel ships converted into transports were 
moored close by. Several Hne-of -battle ships and large 
transports were already on their way to fetch the African 
divisions, while other ships, chartered for the conveyance 
of stores, were loading with the utmost expedition. 
Thus, if in the ultimatum a time-hmit, not of three days 
but of twenty-four hours, had been fixed, the French 
divisions, having already had a day's start, would have 
still been in Piedmont at the end of the shorter period. 
By the 26th, when the time fixed by the ultimatum had 
expired, the French had had full five days to prepare, 
and before the Austrian envoy left Turin with Cavour's 
reply, French troops already stood upon Italian soil. 

At the moment of advance the French Army was 
divided into two great wings with no prospect of reimion 
or support until each had arrived in Piedmont. The 
left wing, composed of the Ilird and IVth Corps, was 
therefore placed temporarily under the command of 
Marshal Canxobert, while the right wing — the 1st and 
Ilnd Corps — was under the orders of Marshal Bara- 
guey d'HiUiers. The two forts of Exiles and of Esseil- 
lon command respectively the eastern exits of the passes 
of Mont Genevre and Mont Cenis, and, by arrangement 
with King Victor Emmanuel, these were handed over 
to mixed garrisons of French and Itahan troops. 

Having set in motion the troops of the left wing, which 
was ordered to concentrate at Turin and thence to march 
by divisions to the position on the Dora Baltea, Marsha] 



22 THE CAMPAIGN OF 

Caniobert left Lyons on April 27, accompanied by General 
Niel, the commander of the IVth Corps, reached Susa 
on the night of the 28th and Turin the following day, 
and moved out at once from here to the Dora Baltea 
with King Victor Emmanuel and Generals Niel and 
Frossard. Having carefuUy examined the ground, 
the Marshal came to the conclusion that owing to its 
extent, to the small numbers available for holding it, 
and to the configuration of the ground itself, the position 
was not specially favourable for defence. On the right 
the position was good ; flanked by the River Po, there 
lay beyond the Dora Baltea an open plain completely 
dominated by the fire of guns placed on the right bank. 
In the rear of the right the ground was very broken, 
and covered with houses, trees and hedges, assisting 
greatly in the defence ; a village caUed Verolengo was 
itself strongly entrenched and could only be forced 
with great difficulty, while this village, with that of Ter- 
razza, stood out like two bastions connected by a 
canal as by a curtain. The left at Mazze was on a hiU 
commanding the ground to the front and too precipi- 
tous for frontal assault. In ffont again the bed of the 
Dora, enclosed between two high banks quite 2,000 
yards apart, also assisted in the defence of the position 
selected by the Sardinians ; while the railway, running 
parallel to the course of the river, permitted of reinforce- 
ments being brought up to any portion of the Kne which 
might be threatened. Such were the considerations 
which had influenced the Italians in the choice of the 
position wherein to await the advance of the Austrians ; 
but the following serious defects were pointed "out by 
Marshal Canrobert. 



MAGENTA AND SOLFERINO, 1859 23 

The town of Rondissone formed the centre of the 
position ; the high road from Turin to Milan ran through 
it, and the ground in rear — flat and open — offered 
no obstacle where an enemy might be detained or 
defenders rallied. If the centre were forced the right 
would be turned, the left compromised, and the second 
line would be taken in reverse. Lastly the river, the 
only obstacle covering Rondissone, here formed several 
small channels almost everywhere f ordable at that season 
of the year ; the banks also were thickly wooded and 
precipitous. Then, too, although the left was strong, 
it could easily be turned by the Austrians following the 
high road, which crossed the river twelve miles north of 
Mazze. 

Such were the faults of the position, but it is possible 
that none the less it would have been retained, had the 
Ilird and IVth French Corps been able to join hands 
with their aUies as early as had been anticipated. The 
weather, however, had been deplorable, and the passage 
of the Alps had been so greatly delayed, that, should the 
Austrians only march rapidly on the Dora Baltea, there 
seemed no prospect of reinforcing the defenders with 
anything but very weak detachments of the French left 
wing. These considerations led Marshal Canrobert to 
ask that the position on the Dora be abandoned, and that 
Turin should be defended at Alessandria and Casale, 
since the occupation in force of the last-named place 
in particular, might cause anxiety to the Austrian com- 
mander for his left and for his communications in the 
event of his advance by way of VerceUi. Thus, too, the 
capital would be covered, Genoa safeguarded, the 
unmolested arrival of the French detachments would 



24 THE CAMPAIGN OF 

be assured and the junction of the allied armies be placed 
beyond danger. 

These ideas of Marshal Canrobert were approved by 
the King and by the Emperor, and the position on the 
Dora Baltea, where La Marmora had already con- 
structed important defensive works, was definitely 
abandoned. By the use of the railway the troops were 
rapidly withdrawn, and under the direction of General 
Frossard works were begun on the left bank of the Po 
at Casale, in the hope of thereby causing Count Gyul'ai 
to beheve that an advance was contemplated against 
his left flank should he march on Turin. 

In consequence of these dispositions the following 
alterations took place in the positions of the ItaUan 
forces : — 

Royal Headquarters at San Salvatore. 

1st Division (Castelborgo) at San Salvatore. 

2nd „ (Fanti) at Alessandria. 

3rd „ (Duiando) at Valenza. 

4th „ (CSaldini) at Giarole. 

5th „ (Cucchiari) at Casale and Frassineto. 

The Cavalry Division, with two batteries of horse 
artillery, remained on the Dora Baltea, forming the 
extreme left and observing the Austrian right, and 
occupied the villages of Cighano, Mandria di Chivasso 
and Rondissone. 

On the date when operations should have commenced, 
it had been reported in Milan that the Itahan forces 
were still not concentrated, and it was clear therefore 
that Austria's best chance of success in the coming cam- 
paign lay in striking hard and expeditiously. To cross 



' MAGENTA AND SOLFERINO, 1859 25 

into the Lomellina — as the southern portion of the 
country between the Sesia and the Ticino is called — 
was not the only line of advance open to Cotuit Gyulai ; 
he could have advanced either by' the north or by the 
south bank of the Po — the one led to the capital, the 
other to the enemy's forces and lines of communica- 
tion. 

It is interesting, therefore, to study the memorandum 
prepared by the Austrian General Staff and dated 
April 20, of which the following are extracts : " The 
military situation may shortly be summed up as follows : 
our enemies in the first line are Sardinians, in the second 
the French. The Sardinians, 60,000 strong, having been 
somewhat abruptly disturbed in their military prepara- 
tions and plans, have a double object in view : first, to 
preserve intact their capital ; second, to secure their army 
from defeat imtil the arrival of the French. Probably 
they wiU consider that both of these objects are not to 
be attained, and, having to select, wiU possibly prefer 
to sacrifice Turin for a time, in the general interests of 
the war, to exposing their army to an unequal contest 
in its defence, which may entail its destruction. It is 
to be feared, therefore, that the Sardinian forces will be 
found concentrating under shelter of their fortresses on 
the strong ground south of the Po, with the further pur- 
pose of covering the defiles and communications between 
Genoa and Alessandria. Should this anticipation not 
be realized — ^should the Sardinians have divided their 
forces in pursuit of a double objective and shomld they 
have preferred to concentrate on the Dora Baltea, 
which river has recently been prepared for defence, 
with a view to cover Turin directly — the problem to be 



26 THE CAMPAIGN OF ' 

solved by the Imperial Army will be considerably 
simplified. 

" In- either of these cases, assuming the Sardinian 
Army to be inferior in numbers as well as in quality, the 
decisive result of early collision would seem stiU more 
certain than if the remedy for inferiority were sought 
by enlisting such artificial aid as is presented by the 
permanent fortifications south of the Po. On the other 
hand it may be safely assumed that every nerve will 
be strained by the French to arrive sufficiently early 
on Sardinian soil to support their allies in the impend- 
ing struggle. . . . Assuming that our ultimatum will 
on dehvery be immediately telegraphed to Paris, it 
may be calculated that the French wiU move within 
twenty-four hoiurs from that time ; and considering 
further the character of the commimications across the 
Alps on one hand, and the difficulty attending the mari- 
time transport of so large a body of men on the other — 
though the distance does not exceed three hundred 
miles — we may safely calculate that the Sardinians, 
unless they retire on Genoa or Susa, will, during the 
first six days, be entirely unsupported, and that in no 
probable case wiU our operations be exposed to serious 
danger from the arrival of the French — ^under proper 
precautions — for a fortnight at least. Assuming, there- 
fore, that our proper objective must be sought in the 
Sardinian Army, and not in the Sardinian capital, in the 
first instance, from considerations precisely similar to 
those which influence our adversary, the question is 
how best to utilize the time at our disposal for the 
purpose in view — the destruction of the Sardinian Army. 
... It would seem advisable that the advance upon 



MAGENTA AND SOLFERINO, 1859 2'7 

the position presumed to be occupied by the enemy 
sbould be made by botb banks of the Po ; the army thus 
operating ot, cheval along the river, with a view to secure 
the passages as we proceed and to enlist the largest 
possible number of communications for the rapid transit 
of our forces towards the objective. . . . The first 
objective points, marking the earliest phase of the 
operations, are Valenza and Tortona. It is deemed 
essential that the permanent passage at the former 
town should be seized at once, and if the bridge be 
destroyed or impaired, steps taken to restore immediate 
communication with the north bank of the Po. The 
construction of works on the south bank of the river 
will be commenced at once. 

" If the enemy stands here, dispositions for attack 
should be issued to the army. If he prefers to cUng to 
the high ground about Occimiano, the passage of the 
river wiU be effected and the Ilnd and Illrd Corps will 
cross at Valenza to the south bank. 

"... It may be expected that Valenza will pass 
into the hands of the Imperial Aimy on the 28th and 
Tortona on the 29th. On the 30th or 31st at latest 
the army should be concentrated for attack on the Sar- 
dinians in a probably entrenched position. ... It 
may be estimated that the Imperial Army may reach 
the Sardinian capital about May 3, and further opera- 
tions would then be dictated by circumstances which 
cannot now be foreseen. 

" In case of repulse at Occimiano, the army would 
retire upon Valenza, where the necessary preparations 
for its retreat to the north bank will have been made 

. . and the army generally would take up a defensive 



28 THE CAMPAIGN OF 

position in the Lomellina, holding the passages of the 
Po and Sesia, and leaning with its right upon Vercelli, 
which should be strenthgened for that purpose." 

It will be seen from the above that the Austrian 
General Staff had formed a tolerably correct appreciation 
of the situation hkely to arise out of an outbreak of 
war, and of the best means of dealing with it ; the want 
of decision apparent in the movements about to be 
described is therefore the more inexphcable. 

In spite of the fact that on April 25 Count Gyulai 
telegraphed to Vienna his determination to remain 
purely on the defensive, in view of the approaching con- 
centration of the French and Itahan armies, the Aus- 
trian forces continued to advance westwards after 
crossing the Ticino. On the night of the 30th the out- 
post hne was on the river Terdoppio, the Vlllth Corps 
being at Cava — Zinasco — ^Piave d'Albignola — Corana ; 
the Ilnd at GropeUo ; the Vllth at Gambolo — ^Vigevano ; 
the Vth at Garlasco— Trumello ; and the Ilird Corps 
at Dorno, while the Cavalry remained in Pavia. Orders 
were given to the engineers to fortify the line of the 
Gravellone stream, to bridge it in several places, to 
improve all approaches to the several crossings of the 
Ticino, to lay a semi-permanent bridge at Vigevano, 
and to prepare bridge-heads at Vigevano and San 
Martino — on the JMilan-Trecate-Novara road. ( The 
bridge-head prepared at Vigevano consisted of five 
separate field works, while that at San Martino com- 
prised three lunettes.) 

On May 1 Army Headquarters was at Garlasco and 
the Austrians moved forward to the line of the Agogna — 
the Vlllth Corps being at San Nazzaro, the Illrd at 



MAGENTA AND SOLFERINO, 1859 29 

Lomello and Ferrara, the Ilnd at San Giorgio, the 
Vth at Mortara, and the Vllth between Albonese and 
Cilavegna. The commander of the last-named corps 
caused two squadrons and two companies to be pushed 
on to Novara, where a requisition for 100,000 rations 
was made and oompUed with, and where a number of 
maps were seized. This day the Cavahy Division got 
no further than Trumello on the Terdoppio. 

Urban, commanding the Reserve Division, sent a 
brigade to Barlassina on the Milan-Como road, owing 
to the reported irruption of Itahan Free troops into 
Lombardy from that direction. 

On this date Gyulai was informed that in a fortnight's 
time another corps would be dispatched to the scene 
of operations.. 

On May 2 the advance was continued until the Im- 
perial Army stood on the line of the Sesia, the different 
corps being distributed as follows : the Vlllth at Piave 
de Cairo, the Illrd at Torre dei Beretti, the Vth at Candia, 
the Vllth occupying San Angelo — ^Robbio — ^Palestro — 
Torrione— Rosasco, sending an advanced post to Ver- 
celli and reconnoitring the roads towards Trino and 
Casale ; the Ilnd Corps was at Mede, and Army Head- 
quarters at LomeUo. 

This day one of Urban's brigades arrived in Como, 
being supported by a battaUon in Barlassina. 

In front of the Vlllth and Vth Corps only were any 
of the enemy to be seen ; the weather, which had been 
favourable at the commencement of the advance, had 
now changed again for the worse, and the Sesia was 
greatly swollen. 

Count Gjnilai issued for May 3 march orders of which 



30 THE CAMPAIGN OF 

the general object is anything but clear. The Vlllth 
Corps was directed to send troops on to the island 
opposite Cambioin the hope that the Allies 'would beUeve 
that an attempt was to be made to cross the Po at Sale 
and at Porto Cornale, while the Vth Corps was to make 
demonstrations at different points along the Sesia and 
Po, in order to delude the enemy into the belief that a 
crossing might be attempted at Frassinetto. It would 
seem that the idea of all these movements and demon- 
strations was to cover a real attempt to cross the Po in 
the direction of Alessandria. At Army Headquarters 
it was intended that the Illrd Corps should seize the 
bridge at Valenza, and that another should at the same 
time be thrown across at Bassignana ; the Ilnd Corps, 
followed by the Vlllth, was to pass over the river here, 
while the Illrd, Vth and Vllth crossed at Valenza. 
These corps were then to assault and capture the heights 
of San Salvatore, and having effected the overthrow 
of the ItaUan Army would then press on against the 
French. 

Early in the morning the artillery of the Illrd Corps 
opened fire against Valenza, but the commander. Count 
Schwartzenberg, seems to have been doubtful in regard 
to his orders, for we find him writing to Army Head- 
quarters to inquire whether the railway bridge was to 
be captured or merely destroyed. The Vth Corps only 
received its orders at 5.30 a.m., and the commander 
then pointed out that both rivers were so full that it 
would be no easy matter to send even cavalry across ; 
that all boats had been removed by the enemy ; and 
that it would be difficult to make a reaUstic feint of 
crossing when no bridging material of any land was on 



MAGENTA AND SOLFERINO, 1859 31 

his charge. By midday, however, the Sesia had fallen 
and was crossed in several places by Paumgartten's 
division, which pushed on to Villanova, Terranuova 
and Caresana, leading to some sharp skirmishing. At 
Cambio and Cornale troops of the Vlllth Corps were 
also j)ut across the Po in pontoons, but saw few signs of 
the enemy. 

On this date a bridge and bridge-head were commenced 
at Vaccarizza below Pavia, which were intended, in the 
event of a future retirement on Pavia, to cover the 
communications and protect the passage of the army 
over the river. Vercelli was occupied by the Vllth 
Corps with outposts on the Casale and Trino roads. 

Urban had returned this day to Brescia by rail, but 
on receipt of intelligence that the Parma government 
had been overturned, he was ordered to proceed to that 
city and restore order. 

Previous to crossing the Ticino the Austrian Com- 
mander-in-Chief had received vague reports as to the 
dispatch and arrival m Italy of the leading French 
troops, but it was not until May 3 — at an hour when 
Count Gjnilai had already issued his orders for the 
demonstrations on the Po and Sesia — that he was in 
receipt of telegraphic despatches from Vienna informing 
him that — " fifty thousand Frenchmen had been directed 
on Casale and Alessandria on May 1 ' ' — " that Bouat's 
division had already arrived in Turin over the Mont 
Cenis " — " that 10,000 men were being daily forwarded 
via Toulon, 8,000 via Marseilles and 7,000 via Brian§on " 
— and it was doubtless in consequence of these reports 
that Gyulai telegraphed to Vienna on the evening of 
the 3rd that " the approach of the French prevented 



32 THE CAMPAIGN OF 

Ms intention of breaking through at Bassignana." The 
Ilird Corps (Schwartzenberg) was accordingly directed 
to destroy the bridge at Valenza, but the rain was now 
very heavy, the rising water drowned the mines which 
had been akeady prepared, and the destruction of the 
bridge was delayed for several days. 

On the 4th Gyulai learnt that the IXth Corps was 
being sent into Italy ; this had, at the outbreak of war, 
been employed in the protection of the Adriatic Uttoral, 
and on May 10 its transport to Italy via Venice com- 
menced, one brigade moving daUy. Its place was taken 
by the Xth Corps from Vienna. 

Early on the morning of the 4th the Brigade Boer of 
the Vlllth Corps crossed the Po at Porto Comale without 
opposition, and at once commenced the construction 
of a pontoon bridge. The remaining three brigades 
followed, Castelnuova was occupied, and parties were 
sent forward in the direction of Voghera, Ponte Curone 
and Tortona, while the Corps Headquarters was estab- 
Ushed at Cecosa. It had been intended that Ponte 
Curone should be occupied in force, but the heavy rain, 
which had now been falling continuously for fifteen 
hours, had thrown many obstacles in the way of forward 
movement ; later in the day, however, the Brigade 
Philippovic sent a small force towards Voghera to 
destroy the rail and telegraph, while arrangements were 
also made for a mixed force (1 battaUon, 1 squadron, 
and 2 guns) to proceed next day to Tortona, there 
to levy requisitions. To support the Vlllth Corps, 
the Ilnd was moved, half to San Nazzaro and half to 
LomeUo. 

The stream had risen so much in front of the Vth 



MAGENTA AND SOLFERINO, 1859 33 

Corps at Frassinetto that the fords were rapidly be- 
coming impassable, and Count Stadion accordingly 
recalled the whole of his troops to the left bank. 

Of the Vllth Corps a whole division was now concen- 
trated in Vercelh ; one squadron of the mounted troops 
with this corps was at Villate and another at Novara. 

Late at night orders were issued from Gynlai's Head- 
quarters for entirely fresh dispositions on the morrow, 
but no hint was vouchsafed of the reasons for any change 
or of the purpose for which it was made ; in the orders, 
however, given to the Vlllth Corps (Benedek) it was 
remarked that the Commander-in-Chief "proposed to 
move with the rest of the army from the line of opera- 
tions Pavia — Lomello and to take up that of Milan — 
Vercelli." The Vlllth Corps— to which the Brigade 
Lippert of the Ilnd Corps was attached — was to cover 
the left wing of the army during the operations now 
impending, commence the construction of a bridge-head 
at Porto Cornale, and at the same time push out parties 
towards Sale, Tortona, Ponte Curone and Voghera, and 
prevent information of the Austrian movements leaking 
through to the enemy. 

The main portion of the Imperial Army was ordered 
to move as follows on May 5 : the whole of the Vllth 
Corps was to concentrate in Vercelli, occupy San Ger- 
mano and Stroppiana, each with half a brigade, and send 
forward strong parties towards Desana, Biella and the 
line of the Dora Baltea. Vercelli was to be prepared 
for defence, and the local authorities were to be required 
to supply 110,000 rations daUy ; work on the bridge- 
head at San Martino was to be continued ; while the 
Vth Corps was to move to Eobbio, the Ilird to Candia 

D 



34 THE CAMPAIGN OF 

and Cozzo, and the Ilnd to Mortara and Cergnago. All 
bridging materials and pontoons — less five pontoons 
left at Cornale — were to reacli Lomello on the 5th and 
Mortara on the 6th. Supplies for the Vlllth Corps 
were to be forwarded via Pavia and San Nazzaro — for 
the rest of the army by Milan and Novara. 

The floods on the Po destroyed the bridge which had 
been laid at Cornale and still prevented the destruction of 
the railway bridge at Valenza, so that early on the morn- 
ing of the 5th the orders already issued for the move to- 
wards the Dora Baltea were cancelled, but the com- 
mander of the Vlllth Corps was directed that, in the 
event of any hostile advance before communication was 
restored, he should retire on Piacenza, eventually rejoin- 
ing the main army through Pavia. Nothing further 
was to be done in regard to the bridge-head at Cornale, 
but every possible means was to be taken to deceive 
the enemy as to the isolated situation of the Vlllth 
Corps. In these circumstances Benedek showed himself 
very active, sending requisitions into Tortona and 
destroying the telegraph line and two bridges over the 
Scrivia near that town. 

By the morning of the 6th the river had fallen con- 
siderably, and by 2.30 p.m. commimication between 
the north and south bank was restored, when the troops 
commenced their retirement. By 11 p.m. all the Vlllth 
Corps had recrossed and occupied Piave de Cairo, 
MezzanabigH and San Nazzaro, the Ilnd Corps evacuat- 
ing the last-named place and occupying Cergnago and 
San Giorgio. 

The following movements took place on the 7th : 
one division of the Vllth Corps took up the line San 



MAGENTA AND SOLFERINO, 1859 35 

Germano — Cascine di Stra — ^Desana — ^Asigliano — Per- 
tengp — Stroppiana, the remainder being concentrated 
in Vercelli. Mortara and Novara were sufficiently forti- 
fied to prevent their falling by a coup de main. 

The Vth Corps held from Rosasco to Confienza through 
Robbio ; the Headquarters of the Ilird Corps pro- 
ceeded to Cozzo, having its brigades at S. Paolo, Leria, 
Celpenchio and Candia. The enemy appeared in some 
force about Valenza and Monte and their artillery came 
into action. The Ilnd Corps moved to Nicorvo. This 
day the bulk of the Vlllth Corps marched to Mortara, 
but the brigade Lippert, detached from the Ilnd Corps, 
was, with one of the brigades of the Vlllth Corps, placed 
under the orders of General Lang, who, with his Head- 
quartei^ at Lomello, was directed to watch the line of 
the Po from Mezzana Corti to Breme and give timely 
notice of any hostile advance in the direction of Piacenza. 
In the event of the Allies crossing the river in strength 
in his front, Lang was to retire on Mortara and there 
make a stand to cover the left flank of the army. 

The bridge at Vaccarizza was now ready, but the bad 
weather had seriously hindered the completion of the 
bridge-head. 

The communication and supply lines of the difEerent 
units of the army were again altered as follows : For 
Lang's division — ^Pavia — San Nazzaro — Lomello ; for 
the Ilnd and Ilird Corps — Abbiategrasso — ^Vigevano — 
Mortara ; for the remainder of the army — Magenta — 
Novara. 

On May 8 the Vllth Corps pushed a brigade on from 
San Germano to Tronzano, but beyond this it was f oimd 
that the roads leading west and north had been cut, 



36 THE CAMPAIGN Of 



while the bridge over the Dora Baltea was said to have 
been mined. Various reports of the presence of the 
enemy were received ; a thousand horse were said to 
be in front of Tronzano ; 25,000 Frenchmen were 
reported to be in Biella, while the Emperor of the French 
and the King of Italy were believed to be at , Rondissone 
on the Dora Baltea with Durando's division — which 
last, however, was at this moment actually iii Valenza. 
A strong patrol was sent on to Biella and parties to Ivrea, 
and from their reports it was clear that the AUies were 
in no strength in this neighbourhood. The Brigade 
Gablentz of the Vllth Corps sent a small force of all 
arms to reconnoitre the bridge-head at Casale, and 
this engaged the troops holding it and exploded a maga- 
zine in the works ; the bridge-head was at the time held 
by six battalions. In support of the Ilird and Vllth 
Corps, the Ilnd moved from Nicorvo via Robbio to 
Vercelli, where it bivouacked south of the town. The 
Vth Corps — whose mission it was to destroy the railway 
between Vercelli and Casale — crossed the Sesia at Pales- 
tro and occupied the line Asighano — Caresana with a 
brigade at Costanzana. 

The Ilird Corps — less a small mixed force left to 
connect with Lang's division and watch the Sesia from 
its junction with the Po to Mantie — marched to Torrione. 
The Vlllth Corps moved to Robbio, arriving, however, 
very late, owing to its line of march crossing that of the 
Ilnd and Ilird Corps at Robbio and Mcorvo. 

The arches of the bridge at Valenza were this day at 
last destroyed. 

On this day Count Gyulai both wrote and telegraphed 
to Urban, directing him to make a, strong demonstration 



MAGENTA AND SOLFERINO, 1859 37 



in the direction of Stradella with the object of drawing 
off the attention of the enemy in front of the main army, 
and of obtaining information as to the strength and 
dispositions of the Alhes in the mountains to the south- 
west of that town. Urban was, however, enjoined on 
no accoimt to lose sight of the fact that his main duty 
was to maintain order in Lombardy and Venetia, and 
that he was not to move far from his base at Pavia or 
from the nearly completed bridge-head at Vaccarizza. 
G)nilai concluded by remarking that, while he was toler- 
ably certain that the main force of the enemy was con- 
centrated about Alessandria, and although he was satis- 
fied as to the efficacy of the steps he had taken for the se- 
curity of his left flank, stiU a hostile movement on Pavia 
would be so useful to the enemy that everything possible 
must be done to hinder or prevent any such attempt. 

In the orders for the 9th — tissued at 8.30 the previous 
evening — ^it had been directed that the Vllth Corps 
should concentrate about San Germano with outposts 
in Santhia and Tronzono and with patrols pushed still 
further westward ; that the Vth Corps should move to 
Tricerro with advanced troops in Trino and towards 
Casale, and that the Ilnd, Ilird, and Vlllth Corps should 
support these movements. Lang was also ordered to 
cross the Po in strength and endeavour to clear up the 
situation about Voghera. 

■These movements were actually in progress on the 
morning of the 9th, when fresh orders were issued can- 
celKng all advance and directing the retirement of the 
different corps behind the Sesia, and by evening the 
whole of the troops — with the exception of the Vth 
Corps — were across that river. 



38 THE CAMPAIGN OF 

In justification of this sudden retrograde movement, 
Count Gyulai forwarded to Vienna a long dispatch, 
dated the 9th, of which the following is an epitome : 
he commenced by reiterating the words of his letter of 
April 25 wherein he had stated his conviction that 
an energetic ofEensive in the direction of Alessandria 
was very difficult in view of the strength of the allied 
forces — ^while a reverse would entail very serious conse- 
quences ; that the offensive could only be imdertaken 
to prevent or delay a junction of the French and ItaUan 
armies ; and that such a consummation was only pos- 
sible had the Austrians been in sufficient force to hold 
the Italians to the defences at Alessandria and at the 
same time to engage and defeat the French. A per- 
manent separation of the Allies was impracticable, as a 
junction could easily take place further west, when the 
French could have advanced from Turin by Vercelli 
and Novara against MUan — a movement which Gyulai 
could not have prevented and which would have neces- 
sitated a retirement on Piacenza or even further. This 
retreat, moreover, by the right bank of the Po on a 
single road, with aU the impedimenta of a large army 
and with possible insurrection on the flank in Tuscany, 
would have presented immense difficulties and would 
have taken a long time to carry out. 

Directly the French appeared upon the scene, Gyulai 
stated that he became convinced any offensive against 
Alessandria must be abandoned, and that he must take 
up some position to cover Lombardy and prevent a 
hostile advance on Piacenza. Such a position he 
claimed to have discovered between Moirtara and Ver- 
celli, where, moreover, the army was spread over a fertile 



MAGENTA AND SOLFERINO, 1859 39 

province. The enemy's advance would either be re- 
stricted to a very narrow front between the Po and the 
Apennines, or to a crossing of the river where the Aus- 
trians could fall upon and crush him during the move- 
ment. 

After detaiUng the orders he had given for the 9th — 
described as a " reconnaissance " (by four army corps), 
Gyulai concludes his despatch by saying he has just 
heard that the Dora Baltea hue has been abandoned on 
his moving in that direction, and that the French are 
advancing on Alessandria to threaten Piacenza ; that 
consequently his previous orders for a westward move 
have been cancelled, and that the corps have been 
directed to concentrate about Mortara where he proposes 
to await developments. 



ACTION AT MONTEBELLO 



CHAPTER III 



ACTION AT MONTEBELLO 



While the events were transpiring wMch have been 
described in the latter part of the preceding chapter, 
the different portions of the French Army had gradually 
and unhindered been drawing closer to their aUies. 

By May 1 three French corps — including that under 
the command of Prince Napoleon — ^had already disem- 
barked at Grenoa, and one of these — ^the 1st — ^was on its 
way to Novi via Staglieno, Pontedecimo and Voltaggio. 
Of the two corps moving into Piedmont through the 
passes of the Alps, the Ilird was already strung out 
along the Hne Susa — Turin — ^Alessandria, while the head 
of the other was across the mountains. On the 2nd the 
1st Corps was at Pontedecimo, Buzzola, Voltaggio and 
Serravalle ; the Ilnd was at Bolzanetto, San Quilico 
and Campomarone ; the Imperial Guard was at Genoa 
while Trochu's division of the Ilird Corps reached 
Alessandria on this date. 

The Italian Headquarters was stiU at San Salvatore, 
the 1st Division was at Occimiano and Valenza, the 
2nd and 3rd were in Alessandria, the 4th ia Ozzano, 
and the Vth in Frassinetto, Valenza and Bassignana. 
On May 3 Garibaldi's Free Corps arrived in Casale, he 
having been earnestly entreated by Cialdini to come 



44 THE CAMPAIGN OF 

there with all speed, as the advance of the Austrian Vth 
Corps had caused Cialdini anxiety for the safety of his 
bridge defences. 

On the 4th the 1st French Corps was at Rigoroso, 
Arquato and Serravalle ; the Ilnd at Gavi, Carosio 
and Voltaggio ; the Illrd was partly in Turin and 
partly in Alessandria, while the IVth was stiU between 
Susa and the capital. 

The French were gradually closing up during the 
ensuing days, until on the 7th the head of the 1st Corps 
— marching on the right bank of the Scrivia — had 
reached Cassano ; the Imperial Guard following had 
arrived at Buzzola ; the Ilnd Corps was at Tasserolo 
just south of Novi ; and the Illrd and IVth Corps 
were both in Alessandria, less one brigade which the 
last-named corps had dropped at Susa. 

Some sUght changes had been made in the disposi- 
tions of the Piedmontese Army ; the 1st Division 
was in San Salvatore, the 3rd on the line Valenza — 
Mugarone — Bassignana, covering Alessandria, where 
was the 2nd Division ; while the 4th and 5th were 
between Frassinetto and Monte, covering Casale. 

The French military authorities had been thoroughly 
alive, not only to the evil moral efEect of a hostile 
occupation of Turin even of a few days' duration, but of 
the resultant danger of the interruption of communica- 
tions between Susa and Alessandria ; it must therefore 
have been with equal astonishment and relief that the 
Allies heard on the 9th that the Austrians had suddenly 
withdrawn the bulk of their troops behind the Sesia. 
By the 13th the Austrians had all returned by forced 
marches to the Lomellina, occupying ground between 



i MAGENTA AND SOLFERINO, 1859 45 

the Sesia and the Ticino ; the Illrd and Vllth Corps 
were on the Sesia — ^the latter still holding Vercelli — ^the 
Vlllth was on the Po, the Ilnd and' Vth in rear at 
Albonese and TrumeUo. Urban alone, with troops of 
the Reserve Division, was on the south bank of the Po 
at Casteggio, while Piacenza was left to its own garrison 
and to the IXth Corps, which was now drawing near 
to that city. Meanwhile the Allies were rapidly con- 
centrating in two strong masses on either side of the 
Tanaro — ^the Ist, Ilnd and Ilird French Corps in Sale, 
Voghera and Tortona, the IVth and Sardinians about 
Casale and Valenza, and the Imperial Guard at Ales- 
sandria, bridges having been thrown across the Scrivia 
and the Tanaro to facilitate inter-communication. 

The first phase of the campaign had thus ended with- 
out initial advantage to the Austrians. The object 
of Gyulai's hasty invasion of Piedmont was less the 
defeat of the isolated Italian Army, than the capture of 
the capital and' the possible overthrow of the French 
detachments debouching from the passes of the Alps. 
But such an operation exposed the Austrian flank to 
attack by the armies disembarking at Genoa, and there 
can be no doubt that the true object of the invasion 
should have been the defeat of the Italian Army standing 
behind the Po and the Tanaro. The Austrian advance, 
instead of being by the left bank of the Po, should have 
been by the right ; a force should have occupied the 
defiles of the Scrivia and observed Alessandria — thus 
checking the French advance from Genoa — and the 
bulk of the Austrian Army should have forced the pas- 
sage of the Tanaro, and, having defeated the ItaUans, 



46 THE CAMPAIGN OF 



would then have stood ready to deal with the divided 
forces of their allies. But while the Piedmontese divi- 
sions stUl stood unsupported, Gyulai evinced no inclina- 
tion to attack them either in front or on the strategic 
flank, feints only were made in various directions. No 
single advantage had been secured, the initiative had 
been surrendered, and the morale of the Imperial troops 
had been seriously impaired. 

Within the course of the next few days Count Gyulai 
learnt that two additional corps — the 1st (Clam Gallas) 
and the Ilnd (Weigl) were being sent into Italy, and 
on May 17 he was informed that the Emperor Franz 
Josef himseK would probably shortly assume command 
of the troops of the Second Army. 

On May 14 Urban sent forward a brigade under 
Colonel WaUon by Casteggio towards Voghera ; nowhere 
was the enemy found in any strength, but a few patrols 
of Italian lancers were seen in the neighbourhood of 
Voghera. The Austrians heard here, however, of the 
arrival in Alessandria of the Emperor Napoleon (he 
had actually joined his army that very morning), and 
from information locally obtained and transmitted to 
the Austrian Headquarters, Gyulai seems to have now 
formed the conclusion, on what, in the light of subse- 
quent events, seems wholly insufficient basis, that the 
Allies had the intention either of attempting a crossing 
at Valenza or Frassinetto, or of advancing by Voghera 
and StradeUa. To meet such dispositions Gyulai drew 
up the following scheme, viz : should the enemy cross 
at Valenza he proposed to engage him in front with 
the Vlllth, Vth and Ilnd Corps, while the Ilird, with 



MAGENTA AND SOLFERINO, 1859 47 

one division of the Vlltli, was to take him in flank by 
Sartirana and Semiana, the other division of the Vllth, 
covering the flank at Vercelli and Palestro. In the 
event of the Allies attempting to efEect the main crossing 
at Frassinetto, the Ilird Corps was to hold them in 
front as long as possible, while the Vllth attacked them 
in flank from Robbio and the Vlllth from Sartirana — 
the nird Corps being supported by the Vth, and the 
Vllth by the Ilnd Corps. Again, should the enemy 
advance by Voghera on Stradella, the Vlllth was to 
fall back fighting — first to the line of the Agogna, 
then to the Terdoppio and finally to Pavia. The Vllth 
Corps was to retire by Nicorvo, Vigevano and Bere- 
guardo, finally forming a reserve between Pavia and 
Piacenza. 

On May 19 VerceUi was definitely abandoned and 
the railway bridge was destroyed, the army moving 
more to the left ; the Ilnd Corps marched to San Gior- 
gio and Cergnago, the Vth to watch the line of the Po 
from the Agogna to Mezzana Corti, the VEIth moved 
to Mortara with a brigade on the Agogna between Castel 
d' Agogna and Nicorvo and a strong post on the Palestro- 
Vercelli road ; the Ilird Corps occupied Trumello, and 
Army Headquarters was at Garlasco. By this date 
four brigades of the IXth Corps, with Headquarters, 
had arrived in Piacenza. 

Count Stadion, commanding the Vth Corps, had been 
sent to Vaccarizza in view of carrying out a recon- 
naissance in force against the enemy's right, and he 
now furnished the following report: that there were 
three regiments of French cavalry between Alessandria 
and Tortona ; that 60,000 men were preparing to cross 



48 THE CAMPAIGN OF 

tie Po ; that French troops had moved on Bobbio by 
the valley of the Trebbia, and that either on the 19th 
or 20th a crossing would be attempted between Casale 
and Cervesina, when the troops moving by the Trebbia 
would fall upon the rear of the Austrians on the south 
bank of the Po. 

Every report that came into Army Headquarters at 
Garlasco seems to have confirmed the impression that 
the Allies would shortly attempt the passage of the 
Sesia and Po, and Gyulai persuaded himself that the 
endeavour could only be made in one of three direc- 
tions : the first — which he considered the least probable 
— from the line of the Sesia, when the attack would faU 
upon the Vllth Corps, supported by the Vlllth, Ilnd, 
and Ilird ; secondly, by Cambio and Valenza, to be 
opposed by the Vlllth, supported by the Ilird, Ilnd, 
and VTIth ; and thirdly, an advance against Stradella, 
the Po being crossed at Spessa covered by feints on the 
Sesia and at Valenza, to be met by the Vth Corps, sup- 
ported by the Ilird, Ilnd, and Vlllth, crossing at 
Pavia and Bereguardo. 

It will be observed that Gyulai does not seem to have 
considered the possibility of any advance other than 
against his immediate front or left. 

On the 20th the AUies were distributed as follows : — 
Sardinians : the dth Division and the Cavaby Division 
had moved forward towards VerceUi ; the 3rd Division 
crossed the Po at Casale and occupied Caressana, Strop- 
piana and Pezzana ; the 2nd moved to Gazzo and 
Motta dei Conti on the Sesia ; the 1st to Casale, where 
was now the King's Headquarters ; the 5th remained 
between Frassinetto and Giarole. French ; the I Vth 



MAGENTA AND SOLFERINO,i85g 49 

Corps (Niel) was at San Salvatore and Valenza ; tlie 
Ilnd (MacMahon) was between Sale and Piovera ; the 
Guard at Alessandria ; the Ilird Corps (Caniobert) 
between Castello and Viguzzolo ; the 1st Division of 
the Vth Corps had a regiment each in Voghera, Tortona 
and Bobbio ; the 1st (Baraguey) was at Casei, Castel- 
nuovo and Voghera. Forey's division in Voghera was 
covered by ten squadrons of the Sardinian Cavalry Bri- 
gade under Sonnaz ; three squadrons held the line of 
the Coppa River between Verretto and Casteggio, 
another was on the high ground to the right at Code- 
villa, four squadrons at Pizzale and Calcababbio watched 
the Stafiora and the bridge at Oriolo, while the remain- 
ing two squadrons were in Voghera, where also five 
fdotons of the 1st Chasseurs d'Afrique had arrived on 
the 18th. 

The AUies therefore were distributed in three groups : 
between VereeUi and the junction of the Sesia and Po ; 
between Casale and the Tanaro ; and between the Staf- 
fora, the Po, the Tanaro and the Voghera — Alessandria 
road. Of this last group, Forey's division and part of 
D'Autemarre's (of the Vth Corps) were practically in 
contact with the troops under Stadion, but the French- 
men were closely supported by the rest of the 1st Corps 
at Ponte Curone and at Casei. 

It being considered by Gyrdai that Urban's presence 
was no longer required at Stradella, since the IXth 
Corps •was now sufficiently closed up to secure the safety 
of the left flank of the army, he was ordered back to 
'^rhe Po to assist in preparing and holding the bridge- 
head now searing completion at Stella. He had reached 
Barbianello on his way to Vaccarizza when he was 

' ' , E 



50 THE CAMPAIGN OF I 

directed to return and place himself under the orders 
of Count Stadion who was about to endeavour to clear 
up the situation from Voghera westwards. For this 
purpose the following troops had been put at Stadion's 
disposal : the brigades Gaal and Hess and the brigade 
Bils of Paumgartten's division — all three of Stadion's 
own corps ; the brigades Braum of the IXth Corps 
and SchafEgotsche of the Eeserve Division — these 
under Urban — and the brigade Boer of the Vlllth 
Corps, then at Vaccarizza. 

Stadion directed that the advance should be made 
in three columns : the left column — ^the two brigades 
vmder Urban — marched by the main road from Broni 
to Casteggio ; the centre column — which Coimt Stadion 
accompanied — was commanded by Paimigartten, who 
had with him the brigades Gaal and Bils, and moved 
by Barbianello on Casatisma ; while Hess formed the 
right column with his brigade and marched by Verrua 
and Branduzzo on Oriolo. The troops with Urban 
were the only ones who knew the country, and accord- 
ingly a battalion from Schaffgotsche's brigade was 
attached to the other two columns, while Urban's 
deficiencies, thus caused, were made good by giving 
him two battalions from Boer's brigade, Boer himself 
moving up to Barbianello in reserve with two battalions 
of infantry and the reserve artillery. 

It will be noticed that while the force allotted to 
Stadion for an important operation was drawn from 
four different units — owing to Gyulai's disinclination 
to make any temporary alteration in the general dis- 
position of his forces — the error of mixing up minor imits, 
strange to one another and their commanders, was st" 



MAGENTA AND SOLFERINO, 1859 51 

further accentuated by tlie man in immediate command 
of the whole. 

Urban reached San Giulietta without any opposition, 
beyond that from some armed peasants, and was ordered 
at 11 a.m. to push on and capture Casteggio, being 
promised the support of the brigade Gaal should he need 
it. Casteggio was occupied in like manner, the few 
Italian vedettes being easily dislodged, and Urban then 
resolved to move on rapidly and seize Montebello, and, 
if possible, Genestrello, where he was ordered to stand 
fast while the right and centre columns advanced upon 
Voghera. While Urban was moving on Montebello, 
Gaal, who had been directed to support him and who had 
reached Casatisma, left there at 12.30 and marched on 
Montebello in two columns — one by the main road, 
the other by the Coppa valley and Verretto ; a reserve 
was left in Casatisma and the brigade Bils remained in 
Eobecco. 

About 1.30 p.m. Stadion met Urban in Montebello, 
which that officer had just occupied, and there decided 
that, as the enemy seemed nowhere in strength, the 
day's operations should cease with the further occupa- 
tion of Genestrello, a tactical position of no Uttle im- 
portance, standing as it did on an outlying spur of the 
Apennines and commanding the open country up to 
the StafEora River. The centre and right columns, 
moving by cross-country roads, had made but indifferent 
progress and Stadion accordingly issued the following 
orders for security : — 

Urban to send back one brigade to Casteggio, which 
was to be placed in a state of defence ; the other brigade 
to be posted between Genestrello and Torrazza Coste 



52 THE CAMPAIGN OF 



with cavalry advanced on the Voghera road, and to 
reconnoitre towards CodeviUa. 

Gaal's brigade to hold the railway bridge just north 
of Montebello, and also the line of the Coppa with out- 
posts covering Casteggio — where the reserve was to be 
placed — and maintain communication with Urban on 
the left and on the right with Hess in Branduzzo. Bils 
was to remain in Casatisma. 

These arrangements had been made about 2.30 and 
orders conveyed to Paumgartten and Hess, when heavy 
gun firing was heard from the direction of GenestreUo ; 
the battahon holding the railway bridge north of Monte- 
bello was at once directed to advance along the railway 
to the assistance of the troops engaged at GenestreUo, 
while Paumgartten was ordered to push on Gaal's 
brigade to Montebello and Bils to Casteggio, the 
battahon aheady in Casteggio to advance to Mon- 
tebello. 

What had happened was that the advance guard in 
occupation of GenestreUo had been suddenly attacked, 
before any steps had been taken to fortify either that 
village or Montebello in rear. 

General Forey had heard at 12.30 in Voghera of 
Stadion's advance and at once moved out with two 
guns and two battaUons of the 74th (Beuret's brigade), 
which happened to be ready, leaving orders for the 
remainder of the division to follow him as quickly as 
possible. Arrived at the bridge crossing the Fossagazzo, 
where two battalions of the 84th were already on out- 
post, Forey placed his guns in position with a battahon 
of the 84th on either flank, and held the rest of his 
troops in reserve. On the right of the road the squadrons 



MAGENTA AND SOLFERINO, 1859 53 

of Italian cavaky, of the regiments of Novara and 
Montferrat, were drawn up. 

For some little time the French were greatly out- 
numbered, and were in no Httle peril. Braum, advanc- 
ing by the railway, drove the battalion of the 74th out 
of the farm and hamlet of Caserne Nuova and occupied 
it, but the 74th, supported by a battalion of Blanchard's 
brigade which had now come up, returned to the attack 
and again possessed themselves of the farm which was 
now strongly held, while Blanchard extended a battalion 
of the 91st Regiment between the railway and the main 
road to strengthen the centre. The whole of Forey's 
division had now arrived from Voghera, and that general 
was prepared to take the ofiensive. With Beuret to 
the right of the road and Blanchard on both sides of 
the railway, Forey threw forward his right, attacked 
and captured Genestrello, when Schaffgotsche fell back, 
hotly pressed, on Montebello. Bils was called up ; 
Braum, who had been fiercely struggUng for the re- 
capture of Cascine Nuova, was directed to fall back 
on Montebello where Gaal had taken up a position to 
cover the retirement of SchafEgotsche's men ; while 
Hess, who with five battahons had been unable to do 
more than hold his own on the Staffora against one 
and a half French battahons, was ordered to retire on 
Casteggio, and there take up a defensive position. 

Preparations for holding Montebello had already been 
made by some of Gaal's troops and a battahon of Bils' 
brigade, when the men falling back from Genestrello 
already made their appearance. There was some con- 
fusion before a decision was come to as to which troops 
were to remain in occupation of the village and which 



54 THE CAMPAIGN OF 

to fall back to Casteggio, when the French advance, 
energetically pressed by Forey, already reached the 
high ground close to Montebello. Beuret's brigade, 
was ordered to attack on the south-west, while Blan- 
chard, moving along the railway, safeguarded the left. 
Both brigades were soon heavily engaged among the 
vineyards and terraces ; the fighting — much of it at the 
closest quarters — continued for two hours ; the houses 
of the village were carried one by one, and finally the 
cemetery, commanding the road to Casteggio, was 
stormed, carried with the bayonet and cleared of its 
defenders. It was here that General Beuret fell mortally 
wounded. 

Bils, in position on the right bank of the Coppa, 
covered the Broni and StradeUa road, while Hess, 
deploying to the right between the road and the 
railway, guarded the Casatisma road ; between these 
two brigades the Austrian battalions fell back practically 
unmolested. Urban on StradeUa and Paumgartten on 
Stella. 

To both combatants reinforcements were drawing 
near when the action closed ; Bazaine was hurrying 
up from Ponte Curone with three regiments of infantry 
and had reached Genestrello, while Fehlmayr's brigade 
of the IXth Corps had left Broni for Casteggio, but 
was halted by Stadion at Borgo San GiuHetta. 

The action had been principally confined to the infan- 
try, but the Italian cavalry was of the greatest service, 
made repeated charges o'n the Austrians, and did all 
possible to check their advance until the French had 
collected force sufficient to meet it. Artillery could 
only play a secondary part in such a thickly cultivated 



MAGENTA AND SOLFERlNO, 1859 55 



and wooded country. Forey — as has been described — 
placed two guns on the Fossagazzo bridge to support 
his attack on Genestrello ; he afterwards posted two on 
the high ground to the right, and employed others 
near Cascine Nuova, from which the high ground about 
MontebeUo is to some extent visible. The Austrians 
had two guns on a piece of open ground near the church 
of MontebeUo, others on a spur of the hill along which 
runs the road between the village and the post-road. 
Here they had constructed a sUght breastwork to give 
cover to the men — an excellent position but for the 
fact that the ground in front was much hidden by trees. 

The following are the numbers engaged and the losses 
sustained : — 

Allies : 



Two six-gun batteries — one only engaged. 
Cavalry .... 1,294 



Infantry 

KiUed 

Wounded 

Missing 

Austrians : 

Artillery 

Cavalry 

Infantry 



6,933 

105 (of&oers and men) 
549 



68 guns 
1,164 
22,501 



The numbers which actually took part in the action 
were, however, very much less : e.g., the brigade Bils, 
over 4,000 strong with eight guns, was not engaged 
at all. 



KiUed 

Wounded 

Missing 



331 (ofBoers and men) 

785 

307 



56 THE CAMPAIGN OF 

In this mismanaged affair Stadion certainly failed 
to distinguish himself ; he made no real use of his 
reserves and was over cautious ; he had, however, a 
very difficult task, but all that can be said is that if 
the movement was injudicious, its execution was in- 
different. Forey, on the other hand, acted with much 
decision and boldness ; he took the offensive even 
with inferior numbers, disregarded the chance of his 
left being driven back, used every available man for 
advancing his right, and gained the day by his bold, if 
somewhat hazardous, attack. The result of the recon- 
naissance, carried out in so dispirited a manner, was 
to confirm the Austrian Commander-in-Chief in the 
false ideas he had formed as to the intentions of the 
AJhes, for even as late as May 23 he telegraphed to 
Vienna that " the main forces of the French were be- 
tween Alessandria and Voghera, and that preparations 
were being made to strike the first blow in the direction 
of Piacenza," and this in spite of the fact that news of 
the operations conducted by Garibaldi in the north 
had already reached Austrian Headquarters at Garlasco. 

On May 17 Garibaldi, who had been accorded the 
rank of Major- General, was at BieUa, where he had 
collected a force of six battaUons of volimteers number- 
ing 3,120 men. 

On the 20th he was at Gattinara, and, without opposi- 
tion and almost unnoticed, he crossed the Sesia next 
day at Romagnano, owing to the fact that the attention 
of the Austrians had been diverted to the Lower Sesia 
by the operations which will be described later. Gari- 
baldi left Borgomanero on the 22nd, and marched via 



MAGENTA AND SOLFERINO, 1859 57 

Arona on Castelletto, arriving on the 24tli at Varese, 
where he proceeded to raise and organize fresh bodies 
of volunteers. Garibaldi's movements had, however, 
not been altogether unnoticed : the Military Governor 
of Milan promptly moved out all his available troops 
towards Varese, and Gyulai now directed Urban to 
assume the direction of the operations about to be 
undertaken in North Lombardy, taking with him the 
brigade Rupprecht of his Reserve Division. Urban, 
moving rapidly, reached Camerlata on the 24th, and 
lost no time in assuming the offensive against the 
invader. On the night of the 26th he marched upon and 
attempted to surprise Varese, but news of his move- 
ments had leaked out, and Garibaldi was ready to re- 
ceive him. The attack was unsuccessful, and Urban 
fell back upon Rebbio, being followed up all the way 
and losing considerably. Here he learnt that his other 
brigade (Sohaffgotsche) was being sent to him together 
with the brigade Augustin of the IXth Corps. Hardly 
had portions of these reinforcements joined him, when 
he was again heavily attacked, and was eventually 
forced to retire on Mon^a. On the 29th, however, he 
moved forward on Varese with all three brigades and 
was able to occupy that town. Garibaldi having withdrawn 
his forces in order to attempt the capture of the small 
fort at Laveno on the Lake Maggiore. Laveno held out, 
and Garibaldi, returning towards Varese, foimd Urban 
in possession, and that his own position had become 
very critical, hemmed in as he was in the angle between 
the Ticino, Lake Maggiore and the Swiss frontier, and 
with his one exit — at Sesto Calende — closed by a force 
of aU arms which Urban had already sent thither. 



THE CAMPAIGN OF 



On June 3, however, Urban hurriedly fell back upon 
Gallarate, leaving Garibaldi and his Free Corps to re- 
occupy Varese, where for the present they may be left. 

Already on May 18 the Italians had collected pon- 
toons and other materials at Valenza for the re-establish- 
ment of communication, which had been interrupted by 
the partial destruction of the railway bridge. The 
Austrians, however, opened a cannonade which de- 
stroyed several pontoons and caused any proposed at- 
tempt at bridging to be abandoned. VerceUi had been 
evacuated on the 19th by the Austrians, who left only a 
half brigade of the Vllth Corps under Colonel Ceschi, 
to observe the line of the Sesia in front of Villata and 
Torrione. The 4th Italian division (Qaldini) occu- 
pied VerceUi, and on the 21st two small columns forded 
the Sesia — one above and one below the town — and 
drove back insignificant parties of the Austrians to 
Orfengo on the Novara road. On the following day 
Zobel, commanding the Vllth Corps, moved the rest 
of the division to which Ceschi's troops belonged to- 
wards Orfengo and Borgo VercelU, while his other 
division was concentrating on Robbio. Cialdini with 
this force in his front and a rising river in his rear judged 
it best to withdraw, and on the 23rd the Italians accord- 
ingly re-crossed the river and returned to VerceUi. 
King Victor Emmanuel, to support Cialdini's advance, 
had sent the 1st Division (Castelborgo) towards 
Candia, the 3rd (Durando) to Caresana, while the 2nd 
(Fanti) occupied some islands in the Sesia opposite 
Motta dei Conti, the idea being to faciUtate Cialdini's 
operations by drawing the enemy's attention upon the 



MAGENTA AND SOLFERINO, 1859 59 

three other divisions. The 1st Division returned on the 
23rd to Casale, and on the night of the 24th-25th 
Reischach, commanding a division of the Austrian 
Vllth Corps, brought up one of his brigades to support 
a brigade of Liha's division at Candia. Here Reischach 
established during the night a battery of four 12-pounders 
and four howitzers, opened early in the morning on 
Fanti's men on the islands, and drove them back to the 
right bank. 

The Emperor of the French had early realized that 
any attempt to force the passage of the Po and Lower 
Sesia, where the Austrians were ready to oppose a cross- 
ing, would be exceedingly hazardous, if not indeed alto- 
gether impossible. On the Austrian left and centre, 
where the Po could not be passed, without a bridge, an 
advance was evidently awaited. There remained only 
the Austrian right which had lately been greatly weak- 
ened and was covered only by the Sesia, whose upper 
waters could everjrwhere be forded by infantry. 

For a few days there was no movement of troops on 
either side ; it was the lull before the storm. 

In regard to the events above described, Moltke ex- 
presses admiration for the rapidity with which Forey 
collected his division, answered attack with counter- 
attack, and so snatched victory out of a threatened 
defeat. Unlike his adversaries he employed the whole 
strength of his force and won the day. But it cannot 
be overlooked that had the Austrians only made proper 
use of their unquestioned superiority in numbers, Forey 
must have been defeated. Up to 2 p.m. SchafEgotsche 
alone was numerically stronger than the French, after 



6o THE CAMPAIGN OF 

whicli hour tlie latter may not have had inferior num- 
bers actually on the spot, although Forey had to employ 
part of his force to hold Hess in check on the left. At 
Montebello itself the two forces were about equal, but 
at the time when the Austrians actually commenced their 
retreat, they possessed at Casteggio a very greatly 
superior force. 

It is said that the Austrians from aU time have been 
partial to such so-called reconnaissances, but under- 
takings of this description are only of value when it is 
intended that they should lead to a battle for which 
every preparation has been made. If the results of a 
reconnaissance are unfavourable, the operation cannot 
be quickly enough broken off, whereas if they disclose 
favourable conditions the opportunity must be seized 
at once, since they may alter within a very few hours. 

Stadion was hound to retire, no matter what imme- 
diate advantage he gained, since three French corps were 
within a few hours' march of Voghera ; the Austrian 
Army, on the other hand, was on the further side of 
the Po, with no nearer communication between the two 
banks than that at Vaccarizza — a matter of three 
marches. It must be considered how far an undertak- 
ing is justifiable which entails heavy casualties without 
compensating results. It is perhaps not impossible 
that Stadion's movements were in a measure hampered 
by some such considerations. 

What indeed had he gained ? He had gleaned no 
reUable information as to the real strength of the enemy, 
since he was opposed by only one division, while he 
could not be certain that even the force with which he 
had been actually in contact would remain on the spot, 



1 MAGENTA AND SOLFERINO, 1859 61 

since he himself fell back on the next day behind the 
Po. AJl he knew for certain was that on May 20 a con- 
siderable portion of the French Army was on the Ales- 
sandria-Piacenza road in the neighbourhood of Voghera ; 
as much lAight have been learnt by an officer's patrol 
intelligently handled. 



THE FLANK MARCH BY THE ALLIES AND THE 
FIGHTING AT PALESTRO 



CHAPTER IV 

THE PLANK MARCH BY THE ALLIES AND THE FIGHTING AT 
PALESTRO 

The Emperor of the French having completed — ^practi- 
cally unhindered — the concentration of his troops at 
Alessandria, now conamenced the carrying out of . a 
flank march from right to left imder cover of the Po 
and of the Sesia, so turning the Austrian right on the 
Novara-Milan road. While all students of the military 
art are probably agreed that this movement was well 
designed and admirably executed, the reasons by which 
it was determined have been greatly criticized. 

According to the French Offlcial History of the War in 
Italy, the scheme, if successful, promised great results ; 
Milan must thereby fall iato the hands of the Allies, 
and if Gyulai should attempt to effect a crossing of the 
Ticino at Bereguardo and Vigevano, the French and 
Sardinians, in possession of the left bank, should be able 
to fall in fuU strength upon isolated Austrian corps which 
might endeavour to pass over the river. If the Aus- 
trians should cross at Pavia, in order to retire upon 
Belgiojoso and Pizzighettone, they would have to make 
a serious flank movement across the front of the Allies, 
who should be able to cut them in two and drive them 
into the Po. If they, however, retired on the right bank 



66 THE CAMPAIGN OF 

of the Po by Pavia and La Stella, the Allies — crossing 
the Adda at Lodi — could seize the passages and drive 
the Austrians into the Duchies. Finally, if having 
crossed the Ticino, the Austrians should there ofEer 
battle, all that they would gain from a victory would be 
the recovery of their menaced communications, while a 
defeat would revive for them at Pavia and Piacenza the 
disaster of Ulm. 

Moltke has the following remarks : " Any operations 
by the right bank of the Po required that an army 
200,000 strong should advance practically by a single 
road between the river and the mountains, since that by 
Bobbio, through the Trebbia valley, could not be of 
much assistance. Between Alessandria and Piacenza, 
the road offers a succession of strong positions, and to 
occupy these in defence the Austrians, already concen- 
trated towards their left, could at any moment debouch 
by the bridge at Vaccarizza. Finally Piacenza itseK 
must present many difficulties to further onward move- 
ment. 

"The attackof the Allies might have been directed from 
Valenza and Casale against the front ; an advance here, 
however, led over a country made difficult by a network 
of rice-fields straight at the Austrian entrenched posi- 
tions. The enemy could in one day mass their main 
force behind the Agogna, while, if the worst came to the 
worst, and the Aiistrians found themselves driven from 
their positions back to the left bank of the Ticino, they 
could there again take up a defensive position. 

" There remained then a third possibility — to turn 
the Austrian right. For this the railway came to the 
help of the French, while at Vercelli and Novara they 



MAGENTA AND SOLFERINO, 1859 67 

would meet no more than the extreme right of the hostile 
force. So far, all was plain sailing ; it was later that 
the difficulties began. Communication with Genoa 
must then be given up, that with Turin must become 
seriously endangered. The Allies would have their backs 
to Switzerland — a neutral country. The one indispen- 
sable condition for the success of the movement was that 
the Allies should win aU their battles — that consequently 
tactics must take the flace of strategy. 

" Napoleon, however, could trust his army and he 
was numerically superior to the Austrians. He acted 
quickly, suddenly and with energy, and the advantage 
is generally with those who thus act, and not with those 
who .merely stand and wait." 

Riistow finds it difiSicult to decide why Napoleon made 
up his mind to a line of advance which, if unsuccessful, 
promised disaster, and which, if all turned out well, 
offered the most meagre results. He comes to the con- 
clusion that by advancing by VerceUi — ^Novara — Milan, 
the Emperor hoped to gain the latter city without blood- 
shed, believing that Gyulai would fall back over the 
Ticino without fighting so soon as he saw that his flank 
was turned. The other reason put forward by Riistow 
for Napoleon's action is a poUtical and — ^it must be con- 
fessed — an ungenerous and somewhat sordid one. He 
points out that on this flank the troops under Garibaldi — 
men gathered from aU parts of Italy and for the most 
part red-hot republicans — ^had pressed forward almost 
to within sight of the capital of Lombardy, and he sug- 
gests that Napoleon and Victor Emmanuel dehberately 
selected the advance by the left in order by their own 
presence to minimise the effect of Garibaldi's operations. 



68 THE CAMPAIGN OF 

Hamley considers that the Allies incuired grave risks 
by the movement on Novara. " Had they moved from 
the Sesia on Mortara and Lomello, and thence on Vige- 
vano and Pavia, they would have perfectly covered both 
lines to Turin by Casale and Vercelli ; and the restora- 
tion of the bridge of Valenza behind them woidd have 
given the means of passing the Po, and would have 
materially strengthened their line of operation. Such 
an operation, in accordance with the circumstances of 
the case, would have given the army firm grounds from 
which to manoeuvre for the passage of the Ticino, with 
better chances of obtaining a decisive strategical success, 
and with none of the risk of fatal disaster incurred by 
the flank march." 

The whole of this interesting question is discussed 
at considerable length in Great Campaigns, and the 
author of that book lays stress on two points which no 
doubt weighed greatly in the decision come to by the 
Emperor Napoleon : (1) that the difficulty and danger 
of the flank march were not so great as have been esti- 
mated, and that they were virtually reduced to the thirty 
nules of road which intervene between Casale and No vara, 
(2) that the nervous anxiety abeady displayed by the 
Austrian commander for the safety of his communica- 
tions doubtless added vigour and boldness to the offensive 
operations of his adversary It is pointed out that the 
Austrian left rested on the strong fortress of Piacenza , 
and that any attempt to turn this flank and the line of 
the Ticino would have entailed bridging the Po between 
that stronghold and Pavia at a point or points narrowly 
watched and strongly guarded. Again, to force the 
passage of the Lower Sesia or of the Po, between the 



MAGENTA AND SOLFERINO, 1859 69 

Sesia and tlie Ticino, by attacking the Austrian centre, 
might have led to exposing the French in detail to the 
attack of the four Austrian corps, whose concentration 
could easily and quickly have been effected opposite 
any threatened crossing point. There remained the 
third course — the flank march to turn the enemy's right ; 
this offered the prospect of an unopposed passage of the 
upper Ticino, which — owing to the extravagant ideas of 
the danger of the flank march held by the Austrian 
Staff — ^had been left practically undefended. The author 
of Great Campaigns writes : " The problem had all 
along been how to invade Lombardy with the least 
possible risk. Of the three doors by which such an 
invasion could be attempted, two were closed, and one, 
which led circuitously into Lombardy, but direct upon 
the capital, was alone open. Doubtless to enter by this 
placed the French Army relatively in a worse strategic 
position, inasmuch as, if victorious, the enemy would be 
defeated, not ruined ; while if they themselves were 
repulsed, they would be in a position of grave danger. 
. . . The question, however, arises — what had been 
gained with reference either to tactical or strategic ad- 
vantage ? It may be answered thus : that the enemy's 
preparations and plans had been thwarted. He was 
called upon to act without being able to deliberate. A 
battle, if fought, would be engaged under circumstances 
which enlisted every chance in favour of the French, 
on the high road to and close to Lombardy, where the 
attitude of the people was such as to render Gyulai 
already anxious for his communications." 

There has further been much discussion as to whether 
the idea of an advance by the left was a sudden resolve 



70 THE CAMPAIGN OF 

made on finding the Austrians in strength in the south, 
or whether the Emperor Napoleon and his military ad- 
visers had formed this decision from the first. Colonel 
Saget, who in 1859 was head of the Bureau Politique 
of the French Headquarter Staff, is said to have stated 
a year later to a Prussian officer in Paris that during the 
halt in Alessandria, the left flank march was constantly 
the subject of discussion among the marshals and the 
officers of the Headquarter StafE. While General deUa 
Eocca too has mentioned in his Reminiscences, that 
soon after arriving in Alessandria, Napoleon III had dis- 
cussed with Victor Emmanuel his plans for moving by 
the left, in the presence of Marshal Vaillant and of della 
Rocca himself. 



On May 26 the Emperor of the French, accompanied 
by Marshal Vaillant, Generals Frossard and La Marmora, 
visited Vercelli and at once issued orders for the execu- 
tion of the great turning movement upon which he had 
decided. 

The Italian Army, holding the left of the position, was 
directed to mask the flank march of the French columns 
by attacking the right of the Austrians — formed by 
Lilia's division of the Vllth Corps — and throwing it back 
upon Robbio. The Ilird French Corps (Canrobert) was 
directed to support this advance and for this purpose was 
moved by rail and march route to Casale, where it was 
concentrated by the 29th. 

On the 28th aU the other units of the French Army 
began to conform to the general movement northwards, 
D'Autemarre's division only, of the Vth Corps, remain- 



MAGENTA AND SOLFERINO, 1859 71 

'■ . . 

ing until the 30th, in the vicinity of Voghera with cavaby 

on the Stradella road, so as to conceal all trace of with- 
drawal. Prossard had begun on the 27th the construc- 
tion of trestle bridges over the Sesia at Vercelli, above 
and below the railway bridge of which the two centre 
arches had been destroyed by the Austrians ; while the 
Italians commenced the building of a third bridge still 
higher up the river. Next day Cialdini's division crossed 
over and occupied some works forming a bridge-head. 
On the 29th the Italians were concentrated in Vercelli, 
the Ilird and IVth French Corps and the Guard were at 
Casale, the Ilnd Corps was at Valenza, the 1st at Sale 
and Bassignana, while the Emperor's Headquarters was 
at Alessandria. 

On the 30th three more Italian divisions commenced 
the passage of the Sesia, while Canrobert was ordered 
to cross at Prarolo as soon as the Austrians should have 
been driven from Palestro. The 4th Division (Cialdini) 
was to march upon and capture Palestro and there 
strongly establish itself ; the 3rd (Durando) was to seize 
Vinzaglio ; the 2nd (Fanti) having captured Casalino and 
Confienza was to turn then upon Vinzaglio and hold 
that village, while Durando moved thence to support 
Cialdini at Palestro. The 1st Division following the 2nd, 
was to form a reserve in Casalino, while Cucchiari 
remained with the 5th Division in Casale. 

The four villages thus menaced were held by detach- 
ments of the brigades Weigl and Dondorf — ^having their 
headquarters at Robbio and Mortara respectively — of 
Lilia's division, whose nearest supports were the Ilnd 
Corps at Castel d'Agognaand Reischach's brigades of the 
Vllth Corps at Cozzo and Candia. 



72 THE CAMPAIGN OF ) 

It was the anniversary of the battle of Goito — the one 
Italian success in the disastrous campaign of 1848. 

Palestro was occupied by three companies, two guns 
and one troop of Hussars, while in Vinzagho and Con- 
fienza there was only half a company of infantry for the 
garrison of each village, but all these could be reinforced 
within an hour from Robbio by ten companies from 
Weigl's brigade, fourteen of Dondorf's and by fourteen 
guns ; the numbers given as holding the villages do not, 
of course, include the patrols and outlying picquets 
which would faU back upon them. Palestro, the most 
important of the group, stands on the road from VerceUi 
to Robbio at a point where the Sesia, which here flows 
close by the road, makes a sharp bend to the east ; the 
village itself stood on a height commanding the plain 
which was covered with rice-fields and cut up by deep, 
broad irrigation channels and crossed only by the main 
road and by the tracks which assisted communication 
between the villages. 

Some 1,600 yards from Palestro was a bridge on the 
stream called the Roggia Gamara, in front of which the 
road had been cut in several places. This bridge was 
held by a small Austrian picquet, which, however, on 
the advance of the Italians quickly fell back to the high 
ground in rear. Galdini now prepared for the attack on 
the plateau upon which Palestro stood, placed four guns 
on the road and advanced with the Regina brigade in the 
first line and the Savona brigade in the second. The 7th 
Bersaglieri and the two battalions of the 9th Regiment, 
well led, succeeded in establishing themselves on the 
edge of the plateau, but could get no further owing to the 
heavy musketry and gun fire from the defenders of the 



MAGENTA AND SOLFERINO, 1859 73 

village. Lilia had heard about 12.30 of the advance of 
the ItaHans, and at once dispatched reinforcements 
to all the villages threatened. Weigl himself pro- 
ceeded to Palestro, but on arrival foimd that the village 
had been carried and that the Austrians had rallied at 
the Roggia Borghesa, the edge of which they were hold- 
ing. Weigl now attempted to carry forward his rein- 
forcements to the recapture of the village and did indeed 
succeed in establishing himself temporarily among some 
of the houses at the eastern outlet. Cialdini, however, 
was able with his superior numbers to attack energetically 
again, both from the south and from the Vinzaglio direc- 
tion, and Weigl was forced to retreat— covered by part 
of Dondorf's brigade — upon Robbio which he reached 
about 5 p.m. 

WhUe Cialdini was moving upon Palestro, the 3rd 
Division (Durando), reinforced by two regiments of 
cavalry, had marched towards Vinzaglio, the position 
of which is very similar to that of Palestro. Durando 
for some reason delayed his attack imtU midday, by 
which time reinforcements of five companies of infantry 
and two guns had reached Vinzaglio via Confienza. 
Here again the superior strength of the ItaUans prevailed ; 
the village was attacked on three sides and the Austrians 
managed to draw ofE in good order. Part reached 
Confienza in safety, the remainder with the two gims 
sought to retire by the Vinzaglio-Palestro road, but 
were heavily faUen upon by the Italians, then in posses- 
sion of Palestro, and were driven in great disorder across 
the rice-fields upon Confienza, being obliged to abandon 
their guns in the heavy ground. 

Fanti achieved his object — the occupation of Con- 



74 THE CAMPAIGN OF 

fienza — without fighting ; his movements were slow, 
and he was further delayed near Borgo Vercelli by aii 
encounter between his advanced troops and a squadron 
of Austrian cavalry, which had left Novara early that 
morning to feel for the enemy. Fanti had consequently 
reached no further than CasaUno while fLghting was in 
progress at Palestro and Vinzagho, and was not able to 
be of any assistance, but his advance probably hastened 
the retirement of the troops holding Confienza. 

Castelborgo's division reached the vicinity of Con- 
fienza late ill the afternoon, and the King slept that 
night at Torrione. 

While the Itahans had been fighting, the French Army 
was safely prosecuting the preUminary operations for 
the flank movement on Novara. Canrobert's three 
divisions were concentrated at Prarolo by 2 p.m., on 
the 30th, and as soon as he knew of the success of the 
Itahans, Caniobert commenced the construction of a 
bridge over the Sesia. The operation was covered on 
the left, bank by the 3rd Zouaves, who belonged to 
the Vth Corps (Prince Napoleon) and had been sent 
to Canrobert, but were to act next day under the orders 
of King Victor Emmanuel. (For this purpose the 
Zouaves bivouacked that night at Torrione.) 

The Itahans strengthened themselves in the villages 
they had occupied and prepared for an advance next 
day upon Eobbio. 

The Austrian Army Headquarters at Garlasco had 
been kept acquainted with all that had taken place, 
and Gjmlai — though stiU convinced that the attack 
was a mere feint to draw his forces northwards — decided 
to strengthen his right, and towards evening ordered 



MAGENTA AND SOLFERINO, 1859 75 

the two divisions of the Ilnd Corps to move to Mortara 
from Cergnago and San Giorgio. Late that night the 
Commander-in-Chief himself rode over to Mortara in 
order to confer with Zobel. He found that the stafE 
of the Vllth Corps was still quite in the dark as to the 
numbers by which the Austrians had that day been 
opposed and as to the designs of the enemy. In order then 
to clear up this dangerous uncertainty, Zobel was ordered 
to attack early next morning with the division Lilia 
of his own corps and the division Jellacic of the Ilnd ; 
but it was carefully impressed upon him that a recon- 
naissance in force was all that was required of him. 

As a consequence of these orders Count Gyulai was 
now about to send two divisions against the allied army, 
which in and about the immediate neighbourhood of 
VercelU numbered fourteen divisions of infantry and 
seven brigades of cavalry ; while on the right banks of 
the Po and Lower Sesia there now stood only four 
French divisions against which Gyulai had still massed 
ten divisions of infantry and one of cavalry. 

During the night of the 30th, Zobel had conferred with 
Lilia at Robbio, and it had been decided that the force 
should advance next morning in three columns ; the 
centre column (the brigades Dondorf and Koudelka) to 
move by the direct road from Robbio to the east of 
Palestro, and the left (Szabo) by the Castel d'Agogna- 
Rosasco road against the south of the village ; these two 
columns, numbering thirteen battalions with one rocket 
and three field batteries, were thus to attack Palestro 
in front and flank. The right column under Weigl, 
and composed of only two battalions and four guns 
with a troop of cavalry, was to operate against Con- 



76 THE CAMPAIGN OF 

fienza, and if there successful, to move tience on Vin- 
zaglio. Tte greater part of the remainder of Weigl's 
brigade was held back in Eobbio in reserve. 

The attacks were intended to be delivered simul- 
taneously ; Weigl was, however, apparently allowed 
rather too much time for his longer march and was the 
first engaged, but by ten o'clock aU three Austrian 
columns had come in touch with the Italian outposts 
before the intended advance of the enemy upon Robbio 
had begun. The picquets in front of Palestro were at 
once driven in and the Austrians established themselves 
along the Une of the Roggia Borghesa, where, however, 
they were much exposed to and suffered considerably 
from the fire of the Itahans on the plateau. Here for 
some time success inclined now to one side, now to the 
other, until Zobel sent Koudelka's brigade in on the 
right, when the determined advance of these fresh troops 
drove back the ItaUans, while Szabo, pressing on from 
the south, threatened to estabUsh himself in the out- 
lying houses of the village. The Italian right was now 
in imminent danger of being thrown back, while Szabo's 
guns had opened a violent caimonade upon the bridge 
near Prarolo, where Canrobert was then passing his 
divisions over the Sesia. Afraid now of being driven 
from his position, Cialdini sent an urgent appeal for 
assistance to the Ilird Corps and to the 3rd Zouaves. 
(This last-named corps had early that morning, taken 
up a position on Cialdini's extreme right, to the south 
of Palestro, and along the road leading from that village 
to Prarolo.) Zobel, however, was not inclined to 
press whatever advantage he had gained ; it was clear 
to him that the enemy was present in overpowering 



MAGENTA AND SOLFERINO, 1859 77 

strength ; the Italians were very strongly entrenched in 
the village, Szabo's artillery was no match for the guns 
which Bourbald had now brought into action against 
him, and at this moment a report was received from 
Weigl, that he had been unable to carry Confienza. 
Zobel therefore directed that the fight be broken off 
and that the two fiank colimms shoidd retire respectively 
upon Rosasco and Robbio ; about 1 p.m. the main 
column withdrew but little molested by the enemy. 

Weigl on the right had been given a task impossible 
of attainment ; at or in rear of Confienza were two 
Itahan divisions, the 2nd and 1st, and Fanti, who 
had made all his preparations for an advance on Robbio, 
received timely notice of Weigl's approach, so that when 
this smaU column — ^barely a thousand strong — drew 
near, it found itself opposed to a force of close upon 
20,000 men with a numerous artillery, and was unable 
to advance beyond the Busca. By this time too 
Canrobert had passed two of his divisions across the 
Sesia, and Renault had dispatched four battaUons to 
support Cialdini's left, while Trochu had sent his 1st 
Brigade to assist the 3rd Zouaves. Tl^ whole of the 
Imperial Guard was now in VerceUi, as was also the 
Ilnd Corps, while the Vth had left Borgo Vercelli, 
and was marching in the direction of No vara. 

Against such a superior force success was hopeless, 
and Weigl was lucky to be able to effect his retirement 
on Robbio as easily as he did. 

The 3rd Zouaves, finding themselves under fire, had 
deployed four companies, and these advancing on 
Cialdini's request for help, soon found themselves in 
contact with the skirmishers of the 7th Austrian Jagers, 



78 THE CAMPAIGN OF 

who had crossed a canal, only passable at a narrow 
bridge called the Ponte della Brida, and were at some 
distance in front of it. Pour guns had followed them 
over and four more had come into action on the banks of 
the Sesia close by. The left of the Jagers was covered 
by a stream called the Sesietta ; this the Zouaves 
unexpectedly forded and, climbing the bank, drove 
in the skirmishers and fell with the bayonet upon the 
flank of the Jagers. These attempted to faU back upon 
a battalion in rear, but Bourbald's guns had been 
firing into this corps during its advance and had thrown 
it into disorder ; the Zouaves were not to be checked 
and burst in upon the guns, capturing five. The shat- 
tered remnants of Szabo's brigade retreated upon the 
narrow bridge over the canal ; but the Zouaves, now 
joined by two ItaUan battaKons, reached it simultan- 
eously, and here wrought terrible havoc, numbers of 
Austrians being bayonetted or drowned in the canal. 
Two more guns were here captured by the Italians. 

Szabo collected his brigade about 2 p.m. in Rosasco, 
but in justice to this corps it should be mentioned that 
it largely consisted — as did many of the other units of 
the Austrian army — of young soldiers, many of whom 
hardly knew how to handle their arms, and that the 
regiments were filled with men recruited in Italy. 

On this day the Austrians lost 2,118 in kiUed, wounded 
and missing, and the Alhes, 601, of which number the 
casualties in the 3rd Zouaves amounted to 46 killed and 
233 wounded. 

While the action was still in progress, Gyulai had 
ordered the commanders of the Ilnd and Ilird Corps 
each to send a division to Robbio to serve both as a 



MAGENTA AND SOLFERINO, 1859 79 

support to tlie troops falling back before the French, 
and as the nucleus of a fresh force which was to attack the 
Allies early next day and endeavour to drive them back 
on VerceUi. These orders were changed in so far as 
they referred to the Illrd Corps, of which one division 
(Martini) marched to Mortara, the other (Schonberger) 
to Castel d'Agogna. Liechtenstein had reached San 
Angelo with the division detailed from the Ilnd Corps, 
when he met fugitives of Szabo's brigade and learnt 
th;:ough Zobel that the action had ceased. He accord- 
ingly arranged to relieve Reischach's division, which 
had extended to its right up to Celpenchio and San Paolo 
Leria, and generally to cover the left of the division Lilia 
of the Vllth Corps in Robbio. 

Gyulai does not appear to have even yet grasped the 
fact that the whole of the allied forces were gathering 
on his right flank, for he issued instructions for the 
Vlllth Corps to hold Breme and Sartirana in greater 
strength, the Vth Corps was directed to occupy Otto- 
biano and Ferrara each with a brigade, and all troops 
in that neighbourhood were ordered to be on their 
guard against any attempt to cross the river at Candia 
and Frassinetto. 

On the evening of the 31st Gyulai telegraphed to 
Vienna that he had cancelled the orders for attack next 
day, as the enemy appeared to be in overwhelming force. 

Of the reinforcements recently ordered from Austria 
to Italy, the 1st Corps (Count Clam) was directed on 
Magenta — one brigade to Monza — the Xth to Adria, 
MonseUce and Nogara, while the Xlth was ordered to 
proceed to Borgoforte. 



8o THE CAMPAIGN OF 

On this night the Allies were thus disposed : their 
front line ran from Cameriano to Palestro ; on the left, 
the IVth Corps at Cameriano lay cL cheval the Vercelli- 
Novara road. In the centre stood three Italian divisions, 
while on the right was the Ilird French Corps and the 
4th Italian division. The llnd Corps was at Borgo 
VerceUi, the Imperial Guard in Vercelli, the 1st Corps 
was at Casale, D'Autemarre's division of the Vth 
Corps was partly at Tortona, partly in Alessandria, 
while the 5th Italian division occupied Casale, Val- 
enza and Alessandria. 

It had been originally intended that the Italians 
should move on Robbio at daybreak on June 1, drive 
out the Austrians and pursue them to this side of Nicorvo, 
so as to gain possession of the bridge over the Agogna, 
while King Victor Emmanuel, retaining a substantial 
part of his force at Robbio, should there occupy a good 
position whence to command the roads leading to 
Rosasco and San Angelo. Canrobert was to occupy 
Palestro with two divisions, and Confienza, Vespolate 
and Borgo Lavezzaro with the other. The IVth Corps 
(Niel) was to move direct on Novara ; in fact, the move 
on Robbio was intended merely to mask the march of 
the main strength of the army on Novara. 

The result of the action at Palestro — which ensured 
the success of the flank movement — had necessitated 
some alterations in these arrangements, and it was now 
considered that the move on Novara was sufficiently 
covered by the forces imder the King and Marshal Can- 
robert, and that everything showed that the Austrian 
centre was at Mortara and that the attention of the 
enemy was stiU fixed upon the Po and the Lower Sesia. 



MAGENTA AND SOLFERINO, 1859 81 

The Novara road therefore was practically open. Since 
Novara would henceforth be the new base for the army, 
it was of the utmost importance to cover Vercelli and 
the Sesia bridges, and General Frossard at once com- 
menced the construction of a bridge-head on the left 
bank at Vercelli. 

Novara was held only by two battahons of infantry 
and two guns, and these, attacked at daybreak by 
Failly's division of the IVth Corps, fell back on the bridge 
at San Martino. Niel passed through the town and 
drew forward his whole corps upon the Mortara road ; 
the 3rd Division (FaOly) was placed at Olengo, the 2nd 
(Vinoy) to the right of the Mortara road at La Biccoca, 
and the 1st (De Luzy) at Torrione Quartara with the 
right resting on the Agogna. The Ilnd Corps encamped 
between the IVth and Novara, and Desvaux's cavaby 
division reconnoitred to Vespolate, Trecate and GaUiate 
without seeing anything of the enemy. 

The French Headquarter Staff could now no longer 
hope that so extended a movement had altogether 
escaped notice and fully expected that an attack would 
be made upon the AlHes by the Austrians, but against this 
the former were now well prepared. 

If Gyulai attacked towards VerceUi, the Italians, 
the 1st and Ilird Corps were strongly posted to meet 
him — ^with the right on the Sesia and the left covered by 
the difficult ground about the Agogna — while the troops 
at Novara could seriously menace the flank of any such 
attack. If, on the other hand, Gyulai attacked on the 
line Mortara — Novara the advantage to the Allies would 
be at least equally great ; the blow could only be 
delivered on a narrow front, easy to defend and with 

G 



82 THE CAMPAIGN OF 

both flanks covered by rivers ; La Biccoca and Olengo 
were strongly held, and the troops at VerceUi could 
menace the line of the Austrian retreat on Mortara 
while keeping open that of the Allies by Vercelli. 

The first report of the advance upon Novara was in 
Gyulai's hands at 8.30 a.m. and by 10 o'clock the fol- 
lowing orders had been issued : the Ilnd Corps to march 
to Mortara and go into bivouac on the east of the town ; 
Lilia's division of the Vllth Corps at Robbio to fall back 
on Castel d'Agogna and there form a reserve for Rei- 
schach's division of the same corps which was west of 
San Angelo ; Schonberger's division of the Ilird Corps, 
hitherto at Castel d'Agogna, to move at once on Robbie 
and take over the duties of Liha's division ; Martini's 
division of the Ilird Corps to send a brigade each to 
Albonese and Nicorvo ; while finally, Mensdorfi's 
cavalry division was to concentrate in Borgo Lavezzaro, 
to patrol towards Nibbiola and Garbagna and keep touch 
with the Ilird Corps. Little more than an hour later 
fresh orders were issued to Schwartzenberg, who was now 
directed to send Martini's division to Vespolate to hold 
the enemy in check, supporting it with that of Schon- 
berger to the north of Mortara. By the night of June 1, 
therefore, Gyulai had drawn at least some of his 
divisions northwards to meet the enemy about Novara, 
whose strength he now estimated at from 50,000 to 
60,000 men ; his troops in this quarter now faced west 
and north, his outpost line being here drawn along the 
Agogna to Nibbiola, then at right angles across the main 
road to the Terdoppio, then to Cassalnovo and from here 
to the Ticino. To the south Stadion (Vlllth Corps) was 



MAGENTA AND SOLFERINO, 1859 83 

directed to draw in as mucli as possible to Lomello, 
employing chiefly mounted troops on his outpost Une, 
and all corps commanders were warned of the prob- 
ability of an early and general retirement behind the 
Ticino. 

Meanwhile the smaU force driven from Novara had 
fallen back upon and occupied the bridge-head at San 
Martino, whence the commander was calling for rein- 
forcements. These were to be furnished by Count 
Clam with the still incomplete 1st Corps which was 
hurrying up by forced marches from Milan ; and at 2 a.m. 
on the morning of the 2nd Clam had occupied Magenta 
and thrown a brigade into San Martino. 

It would seem then that Gjnilai had now begim to 
hope that Clam and Urban between them naight be able 
to hold back the left of the AlUes until the Austrian 
Commander should be able to pass his corps over the 
Ticino and mass them about Magenta for the defence 
of the capital of Lombardy. 

In discussing the attack by the Austrians in the second 
day's fighting about Palestro, Moltke has much to say 
of the ignorance of the Austrians in regard to the forces 
by which they were Ukely to be opposed. He admits 
that possibly the nature of the country prevented the 
Austrians from recognising that they had in their 
front the whole Italian Army, but the action of the 30th 
should have at least made them realise that very con- 
siderable forces were already on the left bank of the Sesia. 
They can hardly have supposed that the Italians would 
have thus cut themselves off from their base and exposed 
themselves isolated to certain defeat, while their allies 



84 THE CAMPAIGN OF 

were marching on Piacenza. Being where they were, 
the Italians must be supported by the French, and after 
the events of the 30th at latest, the Anstrians should, 
Moltke considers, have had no more anxiety whatever 
about their southern flank. The French must now 
either cross at Valenza andCasale or foUow the Italians — 
the latter being the more likely procedure. Leaving 
then two divisions at Robbio and one at Cozzo, the whole 
of the remainder of the Austrian Army — even including 
the IXth Corps — might in one march have been con- 
centrated between Mortara and Garlasco. If the French 
crossed in their front, the two Robbio divisions should 
have been able to hold the Italians, while 90,000 Aus- 
trians feU upon the French engaged in the passage of the 
river. If, on the other hand, the French followed the 
Itahans, it was certain that they would not attempt to 
cross the Ticino without either attacking the Austrians 
or being themselves attacked. 

Before anything it was, however, vital that the Aus- 
trians should concentrate. 

Speaking of Napoleon's resolve to push part of his 
army at once on to Novara after the second action at 
Palestro, Moltke points out that, however sound these 
dispositions may have appeared to the French, there 
was the danger of being forced back into the moimtains 
in the event of a check at Novara ; that Novara and 
Palestro were half a day's march apart, that the initia- 
tive lay with the opponent, and that had demonstrations 
been made at the same time upon each portion of the 
divided French forces, it would not have been easy to 
recognise which was the real attack. Moltke, however, 
sees in the position of the Allies just one of those dangers 



MAGENTA AND SOLFERINO, 1859 85 

wHcli every army must occasionally face when a great 
stake is being played for ; one of those crises which cannot 
be avoided, and which history, after the event, describes 
as either a bold undertaking or an error iu strategy. 
Since, however, neither portion of the divided army 
was likely to be greatly inferior in strength to whatever 
might be brought against them, Napoleon could well 
afford to leave something to chance without risking 
too much. 



THE AUSTRIANS RECROSS THE TICINO AND 
THE FRENCH OCCUPY ROBECCHETTO 



CHAPTER V 

THE AUSTRIANS RECEOSS THE TICINO AND THE FRENCH 
OCCUPY ROBECCHETTO 

" There are two passages over the Ticino in the neigh- 
bourhood of Novara — ^that of BufEalora and that of 
Turbigo. The first is the principal one and over it runs 
the main road from Novara to Milan. A magnificent 
bridge of large granite blocks, constructed in 1810 by 
the French, connects the two banks of the river. The 
other passage at Turbigo is from five to six miles up the 
river and serves as an auxiliary means of commimica- 
tion between the two sides of the Ticino. Although 
tolerably frequented in the time of the Austrians, and 
provided with the inevitable passport and custom- 
house offices, it could only boast of a ferry-boat ; the 
intention being to discourage as much as possible the 
intercourse between Sardinia and Lombardy and re- 
strict it to a few main arteries of communication. It 
was between these two passages that the Allies had to 
choose, for they were the only points on the river in the 
neighbourhood of their position to which regular roads 
led, and were consequently the only ones accessible to 
a large army. 

" The Ticino, like most of the feeders of the Po, is 
skirted on both sides by a plateau which, according to 



go THE CAMPAIGN OF 

the capricious windings of the stream, approaches and 
recedes, leaving sometimes only a narrow space between 
it and the river, and at other places a distance of a 
couple of miles. This plateau evidently indicates the 
old bed of the river, through which the waters have 
gradually eaten their way. Both at Ponte di Buffalora 
and Ponte di Turbigo the river approaches close to 
the plateau on the right bank. Owing to the action of 
the stream this latter has been worn away and shows a 
bold, precipitous Kne towards the river which runs forty 
to seventy feet below it. On the left bank, on the con- 
trary, the plateau is at some distance from the river, 
leaving a space of more than a mile, which, by means of 
irrigation, has been converted into a rich plain covered 
with crops and trees. The right bank consequently 
completely commands the left, which is therefore not 
defensible. 

" The Austrians, well aware of this circumstance and 
yet anxious to have a foint d'appui in case of need, con- 
structed a tete de pont on the right bank at San Martino 
on the road to the Ponte di BufEalora. Coming from 
Novara this road passes through a weU-cultivated dis- 
trict abounding in crops of every kind, especially Indian 
corn, and studded with mulberry and willow trees. 
This lasts as far as the village of Trecate, which is just 
half-way from Novara to the Ticino. Soon after leaving 
Trecate the aspect of the country changes ; the signs of 
cultivation disappear, and an open, heathy country, 
with here and there a solitary tree, follows, through 
which the road runs in an almost straight Hne to the 
plateau overhanging the Ticino. Just at the edge of the 
plateau, overlooking the river and commanding a mag- 



MAGENTA AND SOLFERINO, 1859 91 

nificent view over the opposite bank, is a cluster of 
houses. This is San Martino, so called from an old 
inn of the same name. Besides this inn there were 
buildings which served formerly as the Sardinian custom- 
house and poUce office, to which in later years the rail- 
way station had been added ; here was formerly the 
limit of the Sardinian territory and the seat of the 
frontier authorities. Beyond San Martino the road 
descends abruptly towards the bridge which is scarcely 
two hundred yards distant from it. 

" This then was the point chosen by the Austrians for 
a tete de pont. Evidently they attached great impor- 
tance to the position, for no labour had been spared to 
convert the approach to the Ticino into a formidable 
looking entrenchment. Not only were the cluster of 
houses and the railway station included, but hkewise a 
solitary house a quarter of a mile further north. The 
whole space thus closed in comprised an area of at 
least half a square mile, and all this ground was con- 
verted into a large work, carried back on both flanks to 
the very edge of the plateau, and provided with a 
wide ditch, parapets, and embrasures for seventeen 
guns. 

" While' so much care had been taken to guard the 
approaches to the Ponte di Bufialora, nothing was done 
by the Austrians to defend the passage at Turbigo, 
except removing the ferry-boat which served as the 
means of communication at that place. This circum- 
stance alone would have been sufficient to point out the 
passage of Turbigo as the one to be preferred ; not that 
the tite de pont at San Martino was very formidable — it 
looked more so than it was in reality — but however weak, 



92 THE CAMPAIGN OF 

it was sufficient to allow a few thousand determined men 
to defend themselves for some time, even against 
superior forces, and thus gain time for the Austrian Army 
to come up and occupy a position behind the Ticino 
on the road to Milan. Besides this obvious reason for 
effecting a passage at Ponte di Turbigo rather than at 
Ponte di Buffalora, there were two even more cogent 
grounds for this choice. The first of these was that 
Ponte di Turbigo is six miles higher up the river and was 
consequently so much further removed from the main 
body of the Austrians, which had to come up from 
Mortara and Vigevano ; thus there was more chance 
of gaining the opposite bank before any large body of 
Austrian troops could be brought to oppose this passage. 
The second was that by crossing at Turbigo without 
delay, it was possible to gain not only the left bank of 
the river, but hkewise the opposite bank of the Naviglio 
Grande Canal and thus to overcome this formidable 
obstacle and open the road to Milan. The canal is here 
only one and a quarter miles from the river and its 
banks are less steep and precipitous than lower down ; 
the NavigUo Grande issues from the river opposite 
Oleggio and runs parallel to the Ticino, at a distance 
varying from half a mile to four miles, until it reaches 
Abbiategrasso where it takes a sudden turn in the 
direction of Milan." 

On the afternoon of June 2 General Camou received 
orders to endeavour to effect the passage of the Ticino 
at Turbigo with the 2nd Infantry Division of the 
Imperial Guard, while Espinasse, with the 2nd Division 
of the Ilnd Corps, moved on Trecate and San Martino. 



MAGENTA AND SOLFERINO, 1859 93 



Camou reached the river bank at 3.45 p.m. and saw 
nothing of the enemy beyond a very few scouts, who had 
occupied a small house on the left bank and who with- 
drew as soon as the Chasseurs of the Guard commenced 
to cross in small boats. Camou placed twelve guns on 
the high ground to the left of the road and twelve more 
on the river bank ; by these the whole of the approaches 
to the spot where he proposed to throw a bridge — on the 
site of the old ferry — were thoroughly commanded. 
Covered by these guns and four companies of chasseurs, 
who were passed over to the left bank by five o'clock, the 
construction of the bridge was at once commenced under 
the supervision of General Frossard, who had accompanied 
Camou. While the work was in progress the 1st Brigade 
(Maneque) took up a position on the high ground to 
right and left of the road and the cavalry reconnoitred 
towards Villa Fortuna. -At 7.30 the bridge was finished, 
some temporary works had been thrown up for its pro- 
tection, and so far the only hostile troops which had been 
seen were some mounted men of the 1st Corps, who 
quickly fell back. 

Maneque noW crossed over with his brigade — Decaen 
taking the positions he vacated — and as th% French 
troops became visible on the left bank a squadron of 
Austrian cavalry was seen to hurriedly leave Turbigo ; 
it was learnt that these were some of Urban' s men from 
Gallarate. During the night Turbigo itself was occu- 
pied — the wooden bridge over the Grand Canal having 
been found intact — and at daybreak on the 3rd, while 
Turbigo was being rapidly placed in a state of defence, 
Camou's troops were thus disposed; two battalions 
under Maneque in front of Turbigo, two others on the 



94 THE CAMPAIGN OF 

right bank under Decaen, two in the works at the bridge 
on the Ticino, and two battaUons occupying the bridge 
over the Grand Canal. 

The Emperor had thus secured, with unexpected 
facihty, a crossing place over both the river and the 
canal ; but before preparing to pass over the whole of 
the allied army it was of the first importance to learn 
something definite of the movements of the enemy, and 
Niel was ordered to carry out a reconnaissance in force 
in the direction of Mortar a on the morning of the 3rd. 
Mel took with him Luzy's entire division and one brigade 
of that of de Failly, the whole of the remainder of the 
IVth Corps being held in readiness to follow him if 
required. The three brigades left La Biccoca at sunrise 
in two columns, one marching on Vespolate by the road 
and railway, the other moving on Terdobbiate and Tor- 
naco by Olengo ; arrived at Garbagna it was reported to 
the right column that the enemy, who had been in 
strength at Vespolate, had moved on Tomaco ; but at 
Vespolate the French learnt that the town had been 
evacuated at 3 a.m., and that the enemy had moved ofi 
in the direction of Vigevano. 

It wa3 at once apparent that the Austrians were mass- 
ing on the Ticino, but on which bank was as yet uncer- 
tain, and to guard against any attempt upon him by the 
right bank the Emperor decided to keep the 1st, Ilird, 
and IVth Corps in front of Novara, while with the Ilnd 
and the Imperial Guard he prolonged his line to the left 
and secujed the passages of the Ticino. 

MacMahon was consequently directed to concentrate 
the whole of the Ilnd Corps at Turbigo, while Mellinet's 
division of the Guard was ordered to move on at once upon 



MAGENTA AND SOLFERINO, 1859 95 



Trecate and San Martino, relieving Espinasse, who was 
to rejoin MacMahon. 

June 2 was to find tlie irresolution and vacillation of 
the Austrian Commander at their worst. During the 
small hours of the morning he issued orders for the 
Vllth and Ilnd Corps to move at once — the former to 
Olevano (south of Mortara) and the latter to Mortara. 
Stadion was directed to make every preparation for the 
retirement of the Vth and VTIIth Corps behind the 
Ticino at the shortest possible notice, and a few moments 
later Gyulai informed Count Clam that he was about to 
effect his retirement across the river and that the Ilnd 
and Ilird Corps would cross at Vigevano and fall into 
line on the left of the 1st Corps. He ordered Clam at 
once to recall Urban from Varese. 

The Vllth Corps commenced its retirement at 9 a.m., 
covered by Weigl's brigade, and fell back practically 
imopposed, part by Nicorvo and the remainder by 
Castel d'Agogna. The Ilnd Corps, moving by Ceretto 
and Castel d'Agogna, had almost reached Mortara, when 
its commander received fresh instructions, from which 
it appeared that the withdrawal over the Ticino had 
now been cancelled. 

At 11.30 the VTIth Corps was ordered not to march on 
Olevano, but to remain at Castel d'Agogna, detaching 
a brigade to Nicorvo and reoccupying Robbio with a 
battalion. Zobel, however, who only received this order 
ontheAgogna, considered its execution to be impossible, 
since he was convinced that Robbio was ere this in the 
occupation of the enemy ; he contented himself there- 
fore with dropping Weigl's brigade in Ceretto, and 
occupying San Angelo, Castelnovetto and Celpenchio 
with detachments of cavalry and infantry. . 



96 THE CAMPAIGN OF 

At this liour Gyulai annouiiced that for the present 
he should remain on the right bank of the Tioino and 
that Urban was to pursue his operations against Gari- 
baldi, but at midday Gyulai again changed his mind and 
telegraphed to the Emperor Franz Josef that he had now 
ordered the retirement of the army behind the river, 
and that he hoped by next day to have taken his stand 
between Magenta and Pavia. 

The Ilnd Corps was the first to re- cross the Tioino ; it 
passed the river at Vigevano, and late at night went into 
bivouac at Soria. The Vllth Corps marched to Vige- 
vano from Castel d'Agogna ; was greatly delayed near 
Mortara by its route crossing that of the Ilnd Corps ; 
reached its bivouac on the right bank, thoroughly worn 
out, between 10 p.m. and midnight, and finally marching 
next morning by Abbiategrasso reached Gaggiano, 
where it was to be held iu reserve. 

The Ilird Corps, which was still about Nicorvo, Borgo 
Lavezzaro, Mbbiola and Vespolate, was informed of the 
movements of the Ilnd and Vllth Corps, and was 
ordered to retire on Vigevano as soon as the Vllth Corps 
had cleared the bridge, and, having crossed over, to 
move towards Abbiategrasso, taking up a position south 
of Ozero. The passage of the river at Cassalnovo was 
to be safeguarded ; the bridge and bridge-head at Vigevano 
were to be held as long as possible, and to be destroyed if 
evacuation became imperative. The Cavalry Division 
was to move with the Ilird Corps and march on the 
4th from Abbiategrasso to Magenta, to be there placed 
at the disposal of Count Clam. 

Late on the 2nd, Gyulai communicated to Clam his 
intention of retiring next day, and informed him that he 



MAGENTA AND SOLFERINO, 1859 97 

would be reinforced in Magenta on the 3rd day by the 
Ilnd Corps and on the 4th by the Cavahy Division. 
Clam was directed to send half a brigade, with cavalry, 
to Castano to watch the crossings at Turbigo and Torna- 
vento ; he was ordered to hold the bridge-head at San 
Martino at all costs, while if the garrison were forced 
to retreat the guns were to be spiked, the magazine 
blown up and the bridge destroyed. He was also 
informed that Army Headquarters would next day be 
at Rosate and that the Vth Corps would also^be there, 
while the Vlllth woidd reach Binasco. 

During the night of the lst-2nd the Commander of 
the 1st Corps had been making great efforts to push 
troops up to San Martino, and by early morning of the 
latter date the strength of the force holding the bridge- 
head — aU belonging to his 2nd (Cordon's) Division — was 
five battalions with fourteen guns, five of which were 
guns of position ; there was in addition half a' rocket 
battery ; a squadron of cavalry had been sent towards 
Turbigo, while between Buffalora and Ponte di Magenta, 
on the left bank of the Grand Canal, was a reserve of 
two battalions of infantry with a horse-battery. During 
the forenoon of the 2nd, dam himself reached San 
Martino and went round the defences, of which he 
formed a very poor opinion. Not only did he consider 
the works of weak profile, but the construction was 
faulty; the perimeter was so great that, in his opinion, at 
least three brigades woidd be required adequately to 
man the works — ^which were, moreover, quite open to 
attack on either flank — while the^crops and undergrowth 
were so high in the immediate neighbourhood as to 
permit of hostile approach quite undetected. Clam, 



98 THE CAMPAIGN OF 

however, decided that the place must be held at all 
costs, and gave orders for such improvements to be 
carried out as time and means permitted. 

The unsatisfactory state of the defences at San 
Martino was not improved by the unfortunate condition 
of the men who were to hold them. These had out- 
marched their suppHes and were moreover greatly 
exhausted by the exertions they had recently undergone. 
Clam made what arrangements he could, gave orders 
that requisitions were to be made on the inhabitants, 
and returned to Magenta. 

Towards evening a report reached the Headquarters 
of the 1st Corps from San Martiao that the enemy were 
estabhshing some guns in battery on the Trecate road ; 
Clam at once sent his Chief of StafE forward to investigate 
this report, which on arrival he found to be confirmed ; 
he learnt also at San Martino that requisitions had pro- 
duced but very few suppHes and that the worn-out troops 
were practically without rations. AppUcations for 
suppUes had been made to Abbiategrasso, where there 
was a depot ; but the local supply officer had reported 
that his stores were inconsiderable and that for the 
issue of what little he had he was wholly without trans- 
port of any kind. At this time (8 p.m.) a report was 
forwarded by the Officer Commanding the squadron 
which had been sent towards Turbigo, that the Allies 
had already there thrown a bridge over the river and 
were that day in occupation of the left bank. 

Clam had now at once to make up his mind as to how 
he should act, for there was no time to acquaint Gyulai 
with this new development and await his instructions ; 
it seemed to the Officer Commanding the 1st Corps that 



MAGENTA AND SOLFERINO, 1859 99 

by continuing to hold the bridge-head at San Martino he 
was in danger of exposing his troops at Magenta to an 
attack in overwhehning force, while the defenders of 
San Martino were engaged with an enemy advancing 
from the direction of Trecate ; if Cordon's men in San 
Martino were driven from the defences— of which Clam 
had already formed so low an opinion — their retreat on 
Magenta would be no easy one, since the road for a con- 
siderable distance was carried along an embankment. 
He had no immediate prospect of support, for although 
he had been informed of the approach of the Ilnd Corps, 
there was no reason to beUeve that it could reach 
Magenta before the night of the 3rd. About 10 p.m. 
therefore Clam gave orders for the bridge works to be 
evacuated and for the bridge to be blown up at day- 
break. The five big guns could not be brought away, so 
these were spiked ; the troops were withdrawn from the 
entrenchments and drawn up in a defensive position on 
the left bank. At dawn the bridge was blown up, but 
the damage done was inconsiderable ; the mines had been 
laid in the second pier from the left bank so as to bring 
down the two arches which it supported, but although 
the two arches were displaced, the top of the pier only 
gave way, and the bridge, though temporarily impassable 
for cavalry and artillery, was quite fit for the passage of 
infantry. Whatever the cause of the failure, the result to 
the Allies was most important, for they had now two 
undisputed communications with the left bank. Clam 
gave orders that another attempt should at once be made 
to more thoroughly effect the demolition of the bridge, 
but the officer conimanding the engineers stated that 
he had no more powder ; there was none procurable in 



100 THE CAMPAIGN OF 

Magenta and urgent requisitions were sent for some to 
Pavia ; in the meantime, and in view of a possible forced 
retirement to the line of the Grand Canal, the engineers 
were directed to prepare for demolition aU the bridges 
over it between Bernate and Robecco. 

Early on the morning of the 3rd, Cordon left for the 
direction of Turbigo to endeavour to discover in what 
strength the enemy had crossed. He took with him 
four complete battalions and portions of two others, a 
horse battery and part of the rocket battery which had 
formed a portion of the armament of the defences at 
San Martino. 

Gyulai had issued the following instructions to the 
two corps composing the left wing of his army : " The 
Vlllth Corps to move to-day (the 2nd) to TrmneUo, the 
division of the Vth Corps, now in San Nazzaro to 
Garlasco ; on the 3rd both corps to cross the Ticino at 
Bereguardo. Sternberg's division of the Vth Corps to 
march from Mortara via Gambolo to Borgo San Siro 
where orders should reach them." 

In accordance with the above, Stadion's divisions 
bivouacked for the night at Garlasco and Borgo San 
Siro, while the Vlllth Corps marched at 4.30 from 
LomeUo through Ottobiano and halted for the night 
in TrumeUo. 

The decision to cross the Ticino was also communicated 
to the IXth Corps and the commander was directed to 
leave some troops between StradeUa and Piacenza and 
to place the remainder of his force between Castelpuste 
Orlengo and Corte Olona ; the Po was to be watched 
below Vaccarizza, and the IXth Corps was to arrange the 
safe passage of all sick and wounded down the river in 



MAGENTA AND SOLFERINO, 1859 loi 

boats to Borgoforte, ■whence they would be forwarded 
via Mantua to Verona. 

At 8 p.m. Gyulai received a telegram stating that 
Feldzeugmeister Baron Hess was being sent by the 
Emperor to confer with Gyulai on the spot, that he had 
started for Milan where he expected to arrive at mid- 
night and where fuU information regarding the move- 
ments and dispositions of the units composing the 
Second Army was to be sent him. Gyulai at once dis- 
patched a special officer to Milan with the following 
report (this officer appears, however, to have missed 
Baron Hess) : — 

" The Army will to-morrow (3rd) be thus disposed : 

" The 1st and Ilnd Corps and the Cavalry Division in 
Magenta, with one brigade at Castano, to watch 
the passages of the Ticino at Tornavento and 
Turbigo. 

" The nird Corps at Abbiategrasso. 

" The Vllth Corps in reserve at Gaggiano. 

" The Vth Corps between Morimondo and Besate. 

" The Vlllth Corps in reserve west of Binasco with 
one division in Bereguardo. 

"The IXth Corps between Piacenza and Corte Olona 
with one brigade in Piacenza and one in the 
bridge-head at Vaccarizza. 

" These arrangements permit of a frontal defence of the 
Ticiuo incase — which is improbable — the enemy should 
attempt to cross between Magenta and Bereguardo. He 
is, however, far more likely to turn our flank by crossing 
at Turbigo and Tornavento." 

About five o'clock on the morning of the 3rd, Hess 
met Gyulai at Bereguardo and two hours later — ^in con- 



102 THE CAMPAIGN OF 

sequence of wliat Gyulai appears afterwards to have 
described as more or less of a " mandate " — the Vth and 
VTIIth Corps were ordered to stand fast wherever the 
order to do so should reach them ; the Illrd was directed — 
if its passage of the river was already completed — to take 
up a position on the left bank with Diirfeld's brigade in 
Vigevano, but, if it had not already crossed, the whole 
corps was to remain in Vigevano. 

At 9 a.m. Gyulai heard through the Ilnd Corps in 
Soria, that the AUies had already bridged the Ticino at 
Turbigo and that they were in strength on the left bank ; 
that Clam had decided to withdraw from San Martino 
and destroy the bridge ; and that the Ilnd Corps was 
moving at once on Magenta. An hour later came the 
disturbing news that the attempt to blow up the bridge 
had failed, while it was suggested that the Ilnd and 
Vllth Corps should march as speedily as possible north- 
wards towards the San Martino-Milan road. 

Orders were then sent to Cordon that he should pro- 
ceed no further northward imtil the Ilnd Corps should 
have drawn nearer to Magenta, but a report now came 
in from him that he had reached and occupied Cuggiono 
at 7 a.m. and had pushed patrols towards Turbigo, 
Castano and Buscate ; he had, however, as yet learnt 
nothing definite as to the strength of the allied forces at 
Turbigo. Cuggiono was occupied by one battalion, 
three guns and half a squadron of cavalry ; in Bernate 
was one battaHon and another was in Ponte nuovo di 
Magenta, but the two battalions which had been sent to 
Inveruno had moved out, without orders, in the direction 
of the enemy and Cordon knew nothing of their where- 
abouts. 



MAGENTA AND SOLFERINO, 1859 103 

About this hour — between 9 and 10 a.m. — Hess finally 
withdrew his objections to the movements eastwards of 
the corps still on the right bank of the Ticino, and it was 
therefore directed that they should be carried out as 
previously ordered ; but the interference with the " man 
on the spot " had of course entailed a cessation of all 
movement during not less than six hours. 

Clam was informed, but was given strict orders not to 
push too far to the north as this would weaken the line 
almost to breaking point ; Gyulai expressed his intention 
of attacking in force the flank of the enemy should his 
main body cross at Turbigo, but he pressed Clam for 
detailed information of the strength of the Allies at that 
point. 

At 3 p.m. Gyidai left Rosate with his staff for Magenta, 
and. during the course of the day the retirement of the 
Second Army behind the Ticino was continued and was 
accomplished as follows : — 

The Ilird Corps began at daybreak to evacuate its 
positions in front of Mortara ; Hartimg's brigade moved 
on Vigevano by Tomaco and thence down the valley of 
the Terdoppio ; Metzlar marched by Cassalnovo, and 
Ramming direct on Vigevano where Diirfeld's brigade 
had already arrived. Here, however, the passage of the 
river could not be proceeded with for several hours. This 
was caused in some degree, no doubt, by bad staff work, 
but also by the contradictory orders which had been 
issued, and by the fact that the difficulties of communica- 
tion had in some cases delayed the receipt of instructions 
and in others had prevented their receipt altogether. 
The Ilnd Corps which had' reached and bivouacked at 
Soria appears to have been strung out between that 



104 THE CAMPAIGN OF 

place and the Ticino ; Liechtenstein was preparing to 
continue his march on Magenta on the morning of the 
3rd, when he found that the Cavalry Division, the head 
of the Vllth Corps (Reischach's division), and the 
baggage of both were closing up to him from the bridge 
in rear. Liechtenstein then allowed the cavalry to pass 
through his corps, but directed Reischach to halt and 
foUow the ILid Corps. 

(The cavalry moved straight on Magenta and went in 
to bivouac behind the town on the high ground.) Of the 
Ilnd Corps, Kintzl's brigade occupied Robecco and 
Ponte Vecchio each with two battaUons, while the others 
moving on Magenta went into camp, Baltin and Szabo to 
the right and left of the road respectively and Koudelka 
in rear of the town. 

The bulk of the Vllth Corps only cleared the bridge at 
Vigevano about 11 a.m. and reached Abbiategrasso at 
two o'clock. Here Lilia halted while Reischach marched 
on to CereUa and there spent the night. As Abbiate- 
grasso had been allotted to the Ilird Corps, Zobel 
moved out Lilia's division to Casteletto where it arrived 
between one and two in the morning of the next day. In 
consequence of all these delays — under the circumstances 
not altogether unavoidable — the Ilird Corps was not 
across the bridge until after 4 p.m. and did not 
reach Abbiategrasso imtil long after night had 
fallen. 

The Vth Corps had already reached the bridge at 
Bereguardo with the head of Sternberg's division, while 
that of Paumgartten had just left Garlasco, when — 
about 8 a.m. — ^the order to stand fast was received. 
When about 11.20 this was again cancelled, Stadion 



MAGENTA AND SOLFERINO, 1859 105 

began passing over his brigades and four of them ' had 
crossed the river soon after 3 p.m. Bils was directed 
to follow after the Ylllth Corps. Stadion took up the 
line — Morimondo — Coronate — Binasco — ^FaUavecchia — 
Besate for the night. 

Benedek with the Vlllth corps left Trumello at 2 
p.m., crossed the bridge at Bereguardo during the early 
hours of the ith, and established himself at Bereguardo 
and Motta Visconti. 

The units of the IXth Corps were too scattered to 
admit of their being collected to cross to the other side 
of the Po on the 3rd, but all arrangements were made, 
the outposts were gradually withdrawn, and the corps, 
with the exception of Fehlmayr's brigade, which re- 
mained in StradeUa, was concentrated about Piacenza 
on the 4th. 

To complete the tale of the Austrian movements on 
the 3rd, it only remains to say that on this day Urban 
withdrew the bulk of his troops from Varese to GaUarate, 
sending some mounted men further south towards 
Lonate Pozzolo, whence news of the action which this 
day took place was conveyed to him. 

It is now time to return to the operations of the 
French. 

About 2 p.m. on the 3rd, MacMahon with his 1st 
Division (La Motterouge) arrived at the bridge at 
Turbigo, and crossing the river accompanied by General 
Camou, he mounted the tower of Robecchetto ; from 
here he saw Cordon's advanced troops within a few hun- 

1 It -will have been noticed that the 1st, Vth, Vlllth, and 
IXth Corps had each five brigades, the other corps four only. 



io6 THE CAMPAIGN OF 

dxed yards hurrying to seize the village, behind which 
MacMahon had proposed establishing his corps in 
bivouac. Robecchetto is rather more than two miles 
from Turbigo on the road to Buffalora, and, like both 
villages, is situated on the edge of the plateau skirting 
the vaUey of the Ticino ; there are two roads from 
Turbigo to Robecchetto — one leading to the southern, 
the other to the western portion of the village, while the 
road to Bufialora leaves the village in an easterly 
direction. The occupation of Robecchetto was to the 
French of the first importance — both to cover the bivouac 
of the Ilnd Corps and to ensure the success of any 
further movement on Buffalora and Magenta. 

On his return to Turbigo from the front, MacMahon 
found that a regiment of Turcos was at the head of the 
column, and he at once sent them forward to occupy 
the village or dislodge its defenders. The 1st battalion 
of Turcos, formed in column of divisions and preceded 
by two companies of skirmishers, was to attack the 
village from the south ; the 3rd battalion, forming the 
left column and silhilarly disposed, was to attack it 
from the west ; while the 2nd, somewhat in rear, was 
to form a reserve to both. The other regiment, the 
45th, of this brigade, and later the 2nd brigade of La 
Motterouge's division, were sent forward — ^the 2nd 
brigade by Castano — in support of the Turcos, who 
were closely followed by a battery of artillery. Arrived 
at Robecchetto the French found the Austrians in posi- 
tion at the entrance and were received by a brisk fire, 
but the Turcos rushing forward without firing, threw 
themselves on the Austrians with the bayonet. In a 
few minutes the village was cleared and the Austrians 



io8 THE CAMPAIGN OF 

led to final victory and to the abdication of the then 
King of Sardinia. If the Austrians were inclined thus 
to postpone the ultimate decision until the whole of their 
1st, Xth and Xlth Corps had joined the army, they 
would then have had the preponderance in strength 
on their side, and a victory woidd have enabled them 
to drive back the AJhes to the west, while their forces 
at Borgoforte and Piacenza could have advanced to- 
wards Genoa. " Here," says von Caemmerer, " was a 
very practical method of bringing the campaign to a 
successful conclusion." Had the retreat been arranged 
on the night of June 1, it could have been carried 
through without interruption. 

Kuhn, on the other hand, urged his chief repeatedly 
to take the ofEensive in the direction of Novara, and 
declares that twice — on the nights of May 30 and June 1 
— he drafted orders for such an advance. On the 
latter occasion the attack — ^to be made by the Ilird, Vth 
and VIII th Corps — was only practicable, he declared, 
up to 3 p.m. on the 2nd, since strong reinforcements 
were being rapidly pushed up to the AUies at Novara. 

The result arrived at was a compromise, in that, 
for the present the army was only ordered to retreat 
behind the Ticino. 

Moltke does not appear altogether to share von 
Caemmerer's views as to the advantages of a retirement, 
for he considers that 90,000 men might well have been 
concentrated on June 1 at Mortara ready to assume the 
offensive against Palestro and Olengo. The situation 
of the enemy invited such a measure, and if the reten- 
tion of the right bank of the Ticino was intended, no 
other course was possible. If the worst befell, the 



MAGENTA AND SOLFERINO, 1859 109 

Austrians possessed a nimiber of fortified crossings by 
wMoh to fall back, or even the entrencbed position 
at Mortara in tbeir rear ; wbUe even if pressed back to 
Pavia tbe ground about tbere was very favourable to 
the employment of tbeir numerous cavalry for covering 
tbeir retreat. 

To tbe objection tbat tbe AUies at Palestro stood on 
tbe flank of any Austrian movement on Novara, it is 
pointed out tbat tbis flank was protected by tbe Agogna 
and by tbe Austrian troops at Robbio. Tbe Frencb 
were certainly already nearer to Milan tban were tbeir 
enemies ; aU tbe more reason tben for a speedy termina- 
tion of tbe situation, wbicb could be more quickly 
arrived at by tbe rigbt tban by tbe left bank. 



THE BATTLE OF MAGENTA 



CHAPTER VI 

THE BATTLE OF MAGENTA 

In order that the operations of Jime 4, wliicli are 
known as the Battle of Magenta, may be properly under- 
stood, it win be as weU to give some description of the 
ground on the left bank of the Ticino. 

" Between the river and the village of Magenta there 
is first a flat plain for a mile and a half, then a steep 
irregular bank, some sixty feet high, with a flat table- 
land on the top ; the former is intersected by numerous 
irrigating channels and belts of trees and bushes, the 
latter is cultivated for vines and corn with young fruit 
trees planted very closely together. The railway and 
post road run very straight across the plain and are liable 
to be swept by artillery fire from the high ground, all 
along which, at the edge of the bank, there are favourable 
positions for guns. The plateau which skirts the Ticino 
on its left bank, runs from Turbigo down to Bufialora 
parallel to the course of the river. At Bufialora the 
ridge makes a sweep away from the river for a quarter 
of a mile, after which it again resumes its original direc- 
tion. In this it continues for about a mile and a half, 
and then throws out a spur towards the river, behind 
which lies the village of Ponte Vecchio. Thus from 
Bufialora to Ponte Vecchio a semi-circlp of positions is 

113 T 



114 THE CAMPAIGN OF 



formed, facing the river and about one and a quarter 
miles m length. The breadth of the ridge is nowhere 
more than 200 yards, and beyond it begins the Lombard 
plain corresponding to the plain of Novara. One and 
a half miles in rear of the ridge hes the village of Magenta ; 
at the latter point converge aU the roads coming from 
that part of the Ticino and unite with the main road, 
which runs to Milan. 

" The Grand Canal, which from Turbigo to Bufialora 
runs at the foot of the ridge, penetrates the latter at 
the village of Bufialora, and keeps a hundred to a hundred 
and fifty yards behind it aU along this position. The 
stream runs nearly four miles an hour, and in the neigh- 
bourhood of Magenta it has steep banks at each side 
covered with thorny bushes. Altogether it forms an 
obstacle quite impassable except at the bridges ; of 
these five must be noticed. 

" Between the bridge over the Ticino and the ridge 
there is a space of about a mile of low fiat ground, 
evidently formerly part of the bed of the river, but 
now canalized and rendered fertile by cultivation. It 
forms a succession of corn and rice-fields, of which the 
latter were now under water. Through these low lands 
two roads led up to the ridge ; one, which is the old 
road to Milan, starts from the left of the present main 
road and, leading in a succession of bends through the 
low lands, crosses the ridge and canal just before entering 
the village of BufEalora. The canal bridge here is 
completely commanded by the houses of Bufialora, and 
may be swept by artillery fire from the high ground 
about the village. 

" The second bridge over the canal is that of Ponte 



MAGENTA AND SOLFERINO, 1859 115 



Nuovo di Magenta, by wluch the great cJiaussee crosses 
the canal. This road, starting from the Ticino bridge, 
slopes gradually down to nearly the level of the high 
ground which forms the sides of the valley and through 
which the canal is led. At the canal bridge there are 
four buildings — one in each angle between the road and 
the canal ; those on the left or east bank of the canal 
are particularly strongly built and formed in 1859 the 
Austrian Custom-house. 

" The railway bridge is about 500 yards below Ponte 
Nuovo and crosses the canal at a lower level. The 
railway, which crosses the Ticino by the same bridge as 
the cAotwsee, instead of sinking to the vaUey as that does, 
runs on an embankment across it, rising with a uniform, 
but very gradual gradient to the point where, through 
a cutting, it enters the high banks which frame in the 
valley. This long and imiform slope is seen in its whole 
length from the high ground and lies completely exposed 
to the fire of guns. At the cutting a quantity of earth 
had been quarried out to form the embankment over 
the plain ; here a sort of redoubt had been thrown up. 

" The fourth bridge is Ponte Vecchio di Magenta, 
near which there is a tolerably large village on both 
banks of the canal ; the part on the right bank consists 
of older and less substantial buildings than that on the 
left. There is no direct road to Ponte Vecchio from 
the Ticino bridge, but roads run along both sides of the 
canal at the top of the cutting through which it flows 
from Ponte Nuovo. 

" The fifth bridge is at Eobecco, a large and important 
village built on both sides of the canal. From Ponte 
Vecchio downstream the canal becomes shallower and 



ii6 THE CAMPAIGN OF 

more rapid and its banks are less Mgh and steep. As 
it gradually diverges from the river, the breadth of the 
high ground enclosed between it and the low river 
valley widens gradually from near BufEalora, where it 
begins to have a breadth of two miles. In cultivation 
and character the plateau — often called the plateau of 
Carpenzago — ^resembles the ground between Turbigo 
and Magenta. The low ground or valley bed of the 
Ticiao, though not absolutely impassable, is practically 
unfit for the passage of troops." 

On the night of Jime 3 the positions of the allied forces 
were as follows : — 

The Right : The 1st French Corps and the 1st and 

4th Piedmontese divisions at Lumelogno. 
The Centre : The Illrd and IVth French Corps, the 
Cavalry Divisions Desvaux and Partouneaux 
and Cassaignolles' brigade of the Cavalry of the 
Guard at Novara. 
The Left : The divisions Mellinet and Camou of the 
Guard at Trecate and the Ilnd Corps at Turbigo. 
The Reserve : The 2nd and 3rd Piedmontese infantry 
divisions and Sambuy's Piedmontese cavalry 
division at GaUiate. 
As the Emperor was still uncertain whether Gyulai 
was concentrating on the right or left bank of the Ticino, 
he decided to place his army on the line Olengo — 
Magenta ; on the right the 1st Corps to hold the road 
and rail leading from Mortara to Novara, posted in the 
strong positions of Olengo and on the Biccoca — occupy- 
ing more or less the battle-ground of 1849. Baraguey 
d'HiUier's right to be on the Agogna, where, moreover. 



MAGENTA AND SOLFERINO, 1859 117 

lie would be supported by Desvaux's cavalry division, 
while Partouneaux would cover the left of the 1st Corps 
and maintain communication with the IVth. In the 
centre the IVth Corps at Trecate and the Ilird at San 
Martino would watch the roads leading from Vigevano 
by Sozzago and Cerano to the upper Ticino, and join 
hands by the Olengo road with the 1st Corps and with 
the Ilnd by the bridges at San Martino. On the left, 
the Ilnd Corps at Magenta would safeguard its own left 
flank with its brigade of light cavalry and be supported 
on its right rear by the Guard at Buffalora. 

It seemed to Napoleon that whether the Austrians 
attacked on the left or right bank, he was now strong 
enough on either to be able to hold his ground imtil he 
could transfer to the point threatened the preponderance 
of strength he undoubtedly possessed, although tem- 
porarily debarred from its full use by the river, over 
which, however, his communications were being hourly 
improved. 

On the night of the 3rd, MeUinet arrived at Trecate, 
and Espinasse at once rejoined the Ilnd Corps in the 
neighbourhood of Eobecchetto. 

On the morning of the 4th the different imits of the 
allied army had already marched off to take up the 
positions assigned to them, when it became known 
that the Austrians had completely evacuated the 
left bant, and were moving on Milan ; the Emperor 
then found himself obliged in some degree to modify 
his earlier dispositions and to thrust forward to en- 
gage the enemy those troops which were nearest to 
him. 

The Piedmontese divisions were ordered to cross the 



ti8 THE CAMPAIGN OF 

river at Turbigo and to follow the steps of MacMahon's 
corps, while the Ilird and IVth Corps were directed to 
push on as rapidly as possible and reach the scene of 
action by way of the passages at San Martino. Circum- 
stances, however, did not allow of the uninterrupted 
flow of reinforcements to the troops actually in contact 
with the forces of Count Clam. Of the Piedmontese 
army only two divisions were able to cross at Tuibigo — 
the 2nd (Fanti) and the 3rd (Duiando). Of these the 
latter did not reach the scene of the battle at all, while 
the other — Fanti — only arrived at Mesero at 6 p.m., 
too late to exert any appreciable influence upon the 
result of the day's fighting. As a matter of fact the 
roads and bridges about Tuibigo were greatly blocked, 
whUe Urban's presence south of Gallarate — menacing 
the flank and rear of the troops advancing on Magenta — 
required that one division should show front to him 
while the other covered the debouchures from the bridges. 
In like maimer the IVth Corps marching from Novara 
to Trecate, blocked the road by which Canrobert 
should have reached the Ticino, and he consequently 
was only able, very late in the day, to bring two brigades 
into action, while only Vinoy's division of the IVth Corps 
reached the field at aU. 

To oppose the AUies the nearest troops were those 
immediately under the command of Count Clam, and 
these comprised Urban's three brigades, whatever units 
of the 1st Corps it had been possible to gather together, 
the whole of the Ilnd Corps, and a portion of the Vllth. 
These numbered 44,780 infantry, 3,803 cavalry and 178 
guns, and the various units were on the evening of 
June 3 disposed as under : — 



MAGENTA AND SOLFERINO, 1859 iig 

Of Urban's force the brigade Eupprecht was at 
Varese with detachments at Somma and Tradate, while 
the brigades of Schafigotsche ■ and Brauni (the last 
detached from the IXth Corps) were respectively south 
and north of Gallarate. 

Cordon's troops had passed the night south of Mar- 
callo, but as the men had practically been without 
either rest or rations since they arrived from Austria, 
Clam withdrew them early on the 4th to Magenta, 
leaving only a very few companies to watch that front. 

Burdina (of Montenuovo's division of the 1st Corps) 
had altogether some seven battaUons under his com- 
mand and was posted on both sides of the canal about 
Ponte Nuovo and the railway bridge. 

Part of Reznicek's brigade of Cordon's division — 
some 1,500 men — was on the east bank of the canal in 
and near Buffalora with its right at Bernate. 

Of the Ilnd Corps Kintzl's brigade was in Robecco 
with two battalions in Ponte Vecchio on the west bank ; 
the brigades of Szabo, Baltin and Koudelka were in 
Magenta. 

The Cavalry Division was in Corbetta, while the 
brigades of Gablentz and Lebzeltern, of Reischach's 
division of the Vllth Corps, were near Cerella. 

Further off and at Gyulai's disposal were the follow- 
ing : LUia's division of the Vllth, Corps — 7,600 men 
with 16 guns — at CasteUetto ; the Ilird Corps — ^21,536 
men and 56 guns — was at Abbiategrasso, Ozero and 
Soria ; while the Vth Corps, fiirther off still, between 
Coronate and Besate, numbered 25,092 men and 72 
guns, exclusive of the brigade Bils en route to Pavia. 
The Vlllth and IXth Corps were too far distant for 



120 THE CAMPAIGN OF 

their services to be of any value on this day, but even 
without them the commander of the Second Army 
might have been able to count upon some 107,000 
infantry, over 5,000 cavalry and 400 guns being avail- 
able in and about Magenta at some time during June 4. 

Against these the Allies could muster in the first line — 
viz. : the Imperial Guard, the Ilnd and Ilird Corps— 
55,783 infantry, 6,068 cavalry and 144 guns, to hold any 
Austrian attack in check until the IVth Corps and the 
divisions of the Piedmontese Army — numbering alto- 
gether 73,388 infantry, 4,909 cavalry and 147 guns — 
should have had time to fall into line with them. 

During the night reports came in to Clam from Ber- 
nate, that the enemy appeared to be withdrawing from 
Turbigo and to be moving down stream towards San 
Martino ; as the Austrian outposts in this direction also 
announced that large numbers of the enemy were gather- 
ing on the right bank of the river, the Commander of the 
1st Corps seems to have come to the conclusion that the 
main attack wouldbedeHveredonthe line San Martino — 
Milan — an impression which was strengthened by re- 
ports from the cavalry sent out to the north, who stated 
— even up to quite late on the morning of the 4th — ^that 
Cuggiono and Inveruno were clear of the enemy. 

At 9.15 a.m., however, Bernate reported that the 
strength of the allied force about Turbigo appeared to 
be increasing, and Clam accordingly ordered forward 
Baltin's brigade of Herdy's division of the Ilnd Corps 
to Buffalora. This brigade was there drawn up facing 
both west and north — at Bufialora along the canal as far 
as Bernate and thence fronting the north on the lin e 
Bernate — Casate — ^Mesero. The canal bridge at Buffa- 



MAGENTA AND SOLFERINO, 1859 121 



lora was now at once blown up, apparently without 
orders from superior authority ; a G-pounder was placed 
behind the ruined bridge, seven others being in reserve 
in t'he village ; while four 12-pounders were placed on 
the plateau at the northern exit from BufEalora. 

At 9.45 Clam reported as foUows to Gyxdai : " Two 
Sufoijig colimms are advancing against the stone bridge 
ovei' the Ticino and five other columns have been re- 
ported on the Novara-San Martino road ; these appear 
to be the Imperial Guard. At Ponte Nuovo, at the 
railway bridge and in BufEalora I have nine battalions 
of infantry, five 12-pounders and eight rockets, while at 
Eobe\cco and Ponte Vecchio there is now Kintzl's bri- 
gade. Inl the event of an attack upon Magenta, I shall 
send a brjigade of the Ilnd Corps to Buffalora, keeping 
the other !|two brigades of that corps and Eeznicek's of 
the 1st in [reserve near Magenta. The Cavalry Division 
remains a1^ Corbetto sending out strong patrols towards 
Cuggiono and Inveruno." He then reports Cordon's 
overthrow on; the previous day and winds up by saying 
that " the enemy do not seem to have crossed iu strength 
at Turbigo, although fresh reports point to some increase 
in the hostile forces at that poiat." On receipt of this 
message Gpdai directed Reischach's division of the 
Vllth Corps to move via Corbetto on Magenta, where he 
should act a« a support to Cordon and where he would 
receive further instructions from Clam. At the same 
time Clam was directed to make use of the divisions of 
Cordon and ; JReischach to attack such of the Allies as 
had already crossed at Turbigo and drive them back ; 
if, howevrjf, the eneray were in too great force. Clam was 
to break off the action and take up a defensive position 



122 THE CAMPAIGN OF 

about Magenta in view of recommencing the action on 
the morrow with greatly increased numbers and with a 
proportionately better hope of success. By the time, 
however, that this message reached its destination, 
fighting had already broken out on the main road at the 
eastern end of the Ticino bridge, and Clam then con- 
sidered that the instructions therein contained could no 
longer be carried into execution. 

Mellinet had been ordered to leave Trecate at 8 fi.m. 
for San Martino ia order there to cover the construction 
of a pontoon bridge which was to be thrown across the 
Ticino just above the stone bridge ; his 2nd brigade 
(Wimpffen) ^ left first and was followed two hours later 
by Mellinet himseli with his 1st brigade (Cler).' Wimp- 
ffen reached the river about 10, and perceiving Austrian 
riflemen on the left bank, he at once passed ov'er several 
companies and two guns — the latter being carried across 
by hand — and, covered by these advanced troops, the 
rest of the 2nd brigade crossed over and to^ok up a posi- 
tion on the further side. Here the skirmishers of either 
force became at once engaged, while Wimpffen's two guns 
also came into action, opposing two Austrian pieces which 
were in battery a few hundred paces from the canal 
bridge on the west ba'nk, and which, together with the 
Austrian skirmishers, fell back behind the canal, when 
Wimpfien was able to push forward small parties to 
Bufialora and Ponte Nuovo. 

Mellinet now arrived upon the scene, and having re- 
ceived strict orders from the Emperor not to lecome seri- 

' It should be remembered that two Austrian gfinerals also 
bore this name : the Commander of the First Army at Solferino 
and a brigade commander in SchafEgotsche's Corps. 



MAGENTA AND SOLFERINO, 1859 123 

ously engaged until MacMahon's attack was developed 
on the left, he directed WimpfEen to recall his troops 
and to maintain his position on the east bank some 500 
yards in front of the bridge. At this moment, however, 
the Emperor, who had just arrived at the junction of the 
Bufialora and Magenta roads, heard heavy musketry 
are from the north, and concluding that MacMahon must 
now be seriously engaged, he ordered Mellinet to attack 
and endeavour to carry the villages of Ponte Nuovo and 
Buiialora. 

It will be as weU now to see what occasioned the firing 
which led to the renewal of Mellinet's attack. 

MacMahon had been instructed by the Emperor to 
leave his bivouacs at 9 a.m., and at that hour his 1st 
Division (La Motterouge) left Robecohetto by the BufEa- 
lora road. About midday the division, accompanied 
by MacMahon in person, had passed through Cuggiono 
and found the Austrians deployed in front of Casate. 
The Turcos at the head of the division attacked at once 
and captured the village, the enemy retiring through 
Bernate, where they were rallied. Bernate too was 
carried in the same way with a rush, and the Austrians 
fell back upon BufEalora with the Turcos in close pursuit. 
In spite of MacMahon's orders to halt at two hmidred 
yards from the village to give time for the arrival of the 
whole division, the Turcos pushed on ; some of their 
leading companies rushed on the heels of the fugitives 
into the outskirts of Buffalora and into an entrenchment 
to the east of the village, while two companies of the 
2nd battalion seized a hovise close to the canal. The 
3rd battalion remained in reserve. The 4th regiment 
of the line followed escorting the divisional artillery, some 



124 THE CAMPAIGN OF 

of the gims of wHch were brouglit into action on the 
little plateau of Bemate, and, engaged two of Baltin's 
batteries at a range of about 1,200 yards. The 2nd 
brigade (de Polhes) was formed up rather on the left 
rear of the foremost troops midway between Bemate and 
Marcallo. 

Camou's division of the Guard, following La Motte- 
rouge, debouched from Casate and took post in rear of 
the 1st Division, the left of which was covered by the 
cavalry of General Gaudin de VUlaine, who was directed 
to keep touch with MacMahon's 2nd Division under 
Espinasse. 

This general had been ordered to move on Magenta 
by Castano, Buscate, Inveruno, Mesero and Marcallo, 
and reached the first-named village at 11.15, when, 
expecting shortly to come in touch with the enemy, he 
halted and deployed for attack from cohimn of route. 
His 1st brigade (Gault) was moved off to and opened out 
in the fields on the right of the road, while his 2nd (de 
Castagny) was in echelon on the left of the road, which 
was given up to the artiUery, and finally a dense cloud of 
skirmishers covered the left flank of the division . Arrived 
at Inveruno there was another halt, and it being found 
that passage across the fields was no longer practicable, 
the whole colmnn again took to the road, and it was 1.30 
p.m. before the advance guard reached Mesero, where it 
was met by a heavy fire and where Espinasse made pre- 
parations for attack. 

Wimpffen's renewed attack had by now been launched : 
of his brigade, the 3rd regiment of grenadiers advanced 
along the foot of the railway embankment, while the 2nd 
regiment moved upon Buffalora ; the whole of the 1st 



MAGENTA AND SOLFERINO, 1859 125 

brigade of the same division was not as yet available, 
but its regiment of zouaves was massed to tbe left of tbe 
Buffalora road, wliile a battalion of the 1st grenadiers 
formed the reserve. It was about 1.30 ; the 3rd grena- 
diers moved straight upon the small work which covered 
the railway bridge and stormed over the parapet, turn- 
ing out the defenders, who fled to the further bank of the 
canal leaving the railway bridge in the hands of the 
French. But those of the Austrians who were holding 
the houses of Ponte Nuovo now poured a heavy fire 
into the rear of the open work ; at this moment the 
supporting battalion of the 3rd grenadiers came up and 
turning sharply to the left it moved up the canal bank, 
and engaged under cover of the trees and brushwood, 
covering this part of the field, the Austrians holding the 
village. Ponte Nuovo was, however, occupied in consider- 
able strength, the bank and buildings about the road and 
railway bridges being defended by Burdiaa's battalions, 
supported by Szabo's brigade, and it was as much as the 
French could do to hold on to the ground they had 
gained. At this moment Cler, commanding Mellinet's 
1st brigade, was directed to advance ; his zouaves rushed 
forward with great elan and carried the bridge and 
the houses adjoining it, the zouaves and the grenadiers 
pursuing the Austrians, who fell back in some confusion 
upon Szabo's brigade. It was here that General Bur- 
dina fell mortally wounded. 

The road and railway bridges were thus in possession 
of the French ; on the left, however, matters had not 
gone so well.. Arriving in front of BufEalora the 2nd 
grenadiers found that the bridge had been destroyed 
and that the houses on the east bank were occupied in 



126 THE CAMPAIGN OF 

L 

strength by the greater part of two battalions of Baltin's 
brigade, and here all onward movement by the French 
was temporarily checked. 

It was 2 p.m. : Gyulai had just now reached Magenta 
and learnt of the outcome of the fighting at the canal 
bridges, and he at once ordered up Eeischach's division 
to retake Ponte Nuovo. Passing through Magenta, 
the division formed in two lines ; in front was Gab- 
lentz's brigade, its left covered towards BufEalora by a 
battalion of Szabo's brigade, while in rear were the batta- 
lions of Lebzeltern. The advance of these fresh troops 
was heralded and prepared by the fire of four guns. 
Before, however, Eeischach's troops could enter into 
the fight the situation had become worse for the 
Austrians. 

The rapid advance of Cler's brigade had taken Szabo 
in flank, and these troops — which had already on a pre- 
vious occasion been severely handled — fell back upon 
Magenta, so closely followed by the zouaves that the 
defence of Magenta was hurriedly taken in hand. On 
the north of the main road Liechtenstein had brought 
up three battalions of Koudelka's brigade, which engaged 
the French at this point, but they were gradually forced 
back behind the track connecting Builalora with the 
main road. The French had now several battalions and 
four guns on the east bank of the canal and on either 
side of the road, and it appeared as though there was 
nothing to prevent their unopposed march upon Magenta. 

It was at this time that Reischach advanced upon 
Ponte Nuovo and that the fresh troops thus introduced 
into the fight sufficed to at least check the French 
advance. Three of Gablentz's battalions fell upon the 



; MAGENTA AND SOLFERINO, 1859 127 

left of the zouaves, drove them back upon the guns and 
teaptured one wUcli was in action on the north side of 
the road. General Cler was killed, the French were 
repulsed, and in spite of the efforts of a handful of 
chasseurs d cheval of the Guard, who repeatedly charged 
the Austrian flank, the grenadiers and zouaves were 
forced back fighting to the houses of Ponte Nuovo. But 
the losses of the Austrians had not been slight; Rei- 
schach himself had been wounded, and Gablentz halted 
to reform his scattered troops before continuing to press' 
his advantage. This delay was enough to change again 
the issue of the combat and to give time for the entry into 
the fight, first of Picard's brigade of the Ilird Corps and 
later of those of Martimprey and La Charriere of the 
IVth. 

At this critical moment, when the French in this 
part of the field had fallen back before the Austrian 
reinforcements, the distant soujids of gun and rifle fire 
which had been heard beyond Buffalora, and which had 
decided the Emperor to launch Mellinet to the attack, 
had unaccountably died down. MacMahon seeing and 
hearing nothing of Espinasse on his left, and fearing for 
the result of an attack upon him, while unsupported, 
by the forces he had found in his front, had given orders 
that the Turcos should be recalled from before Buffalora 
and that the artillery shoiild cease fire. The guns with- 
drew to Bernate and de Polhes' brigade extended in 
their front, while Lefebvre strung his brigade out to the 
left to endeavour to gain touch with the right of Mac- 
Mahon's 2nd Division. In the meantime Espinasse was 
continuing his leisurely advance ; his 1st brigade (Gault) 
occupied MarcaUo, Reznicek's battalions retiring before 



128 THE CAMPAIGN OF \ 



it, and here Espinasse intended again to halt, occupying 
the village with his 1st brigade, while his 2nd was com-; 
ing up in rear. He proposed to leave his convoy in thei 
village, and seems to have been under the impression that 
he was being closely followed by the divisions of the 
Piedmontese Army. Once concentrated, it was his in-- 
tention to advance direct upon Magenta. Happily at 
this moment MacMahon himself rode up and ordered 
Espinasse to take ground more to his right so as to join 
on to La Motterouge — ^keeping his extreme left only on 
MarcaUo. After leaving Marcallo, however, both bri- 
gades — now in line — seem to have sUghtly brought up 
their left shoulders, since Marcallo was now beyond 
Castagny's left and both were fronting rather in- 
wards — that is towards the angle of the canal and the 
main road. In rear of the two divisions of the Ilnd 
Corps, Camou had formed his division in Une of bat- 
talion columns at deploying intervals. To Castagny's 
left front, MensdorfE's cavalry guarded the Milan road, 
while LUia's divison of the Vllth Corps had reached and 
occupied Corbetta on the line of retreat. 

It was about 3.30 p.m. when the head of Eenault's 
division of the Ilird French Corps reached the canal 
where the Guard was holding on to the houses of Ponte 
Nuovo on the right bank and to the railway buildings. 
WimpfEen had succeeded in preventing Gablentz from 
crossing the bridge and retaking the entrenchment, but 
Wimpffen was now menaced by a regiment of Kintzl's 
brigade which was moving up the right . bank from 
Carpenzago and Ponte Vecchio to take him in flank. 
Pi^ard's brigade now came up and entered the entrench- 
ment just as Kintzl's men arrived at the southern para- 



\ MAGENTA AND SOLFERINO, 1859 129 

4— 

,pet. These were greeted with a mnrderous fire and the 
Frenchmen then, pouring tumultuously over the earth- 
works, drove the enemy before them as far as the nearest 
buildings of Ponte Vecchio, where further pursuit was 
checked by the timely destruction of the bridge over the 
canal. His right being thus cleared, WimpfEen added 
Picard's remaining battaUons to his own, stUl struggUng 
for foothold, and managed to seize and retain a small 
group of farm buildings situated to the south of the rail- 
way line and about 600 yards beyond the canal. In Uke 
manner the houses on the left bank were recaptured and 
held — ^in spite of the efforts of one of Lebzeltern's regi- 
ments—and three batteries of the artillery of the Guard, 
taking up a position about Ponte Nuovo, seemed by their 
fire to assure its possession to the French. 

Reischach's men were, however, not yet finished with : 
his left wing, strengthened by Szabo's brigade, again 
charged forward ; the farm was retaken by the Austrians, 
and the defenders were driven back to the canal bank. 
The debouchures of the bridges on the main road and 
railway were still in the hands of the French, but the 
troops were greatly exhausted by the continuous fight- 
ing, and it was feared that a fresh attack might effect 
their overthrow, when about 4.45 General Mel arrived 
on the scene with Martimprey's brigade of Vinoy's divi- 
sion. Two of these fresh battalions were at once sent 
forward to the recapture of the farm, and the rest of the 
brigade, under Martimprey, was ordered to push on to 
Magenta ; La Charriere now appearing with three batta- 
lions, he was directed to send two in support of Picard 
and with the other to follow those attacking the farm. 

While the French right wing was thus struggling to 

K 



MAGENTA AND SOLFERINO, 1859 131 

zenberg to advance on Ponte Vecchio by both banks of 
tbe canal with bis wbole force. Ramming, accordingly, 
led Hs brigade by the east bank and moved upon Ponte 
Vecchio, Hartung followed on the west of the canal, 
while still further out to the west Wetzlar conducted 
his men across the swamps and rice-fields of the Ticino 
valley in the endeavour to cut the French communica- 
tions at the San Martino bridge. In rear of all followed 
Diirfeld's brigade supporting Hartung on the right bank 
of the Grand Canal. 

The French also had received a small reinforce- 
ment for the desperate fighting which was about to be 
reopened for the possession of Ponte Vecchio : Jannin's 
brigade of Renault's division had just crossed the river 
and was moving along the main road. 

By now Vinoy had succeeded in recapturing the farm 
buildings to the south of the railway and was moving 
upon Ponte Vecchio, from the attack on which — on 
the western bank — ^Picard had just fallen back. The 
arrival now of Schwartzenberg's corps made matters 
once more serious, and by Hartung's advance Picard 
was driven back to the entrenchment at the bridge. 

All efforts of both combatants seemed to be now con- 
centrated on Magenta and Ponte Vecchio, where it 
appeared the final issue would be fought out. Reznicek 
occupied the northern outskirts of Magenta ; what 
was left of Baltin's brigade, with the battalions driven 
from Cascina Nuova, was falling back upon the same 
point to reform ; on the Magenta road Martimprey was 
driving Gablentz and Lebzeltern before him, and Szabo 
was retiring on Magenta where Koudelka and Burdina's 
brigades had already taken up positions. On either side 



132 THE CAMPAIGN OF 

of the canal Schwartzenberg's infantry was preparing 
to assault Ponte VeccHo ; Bamming and Diirfeld 
were marching up the east bank to oppose Vinoy, while 
Wetzlar, unable to cross the swamps by the Ticino, was 
moving nearer to the canal. 

When the brigades of Espinasse hurled back the attack 
of Baltin and Reznicek on the French left, they followed 
up the Austrians almost to within view of the town of 
Magenta, but here — taking post behind the railway em- 
bankment — the Austrians were able to rally, and the 
French battahons, failing to make any impression upon 
their adversaries, found themselves once more compelled 
to fall back. But Clam seemed now unaccountably to 
have renounced any attempts against the French left, 
and recalled the troops of the 1st and Ilnd Corps to the 
defence of Magenta itself. During the pause which now 
ensued MacMahon reformed his line of battle and bring- 
ing round his right, directed La Motterouge upon Cascina 
Nuova, whose walls and outbuildings were then still 
held by the three battalions which had retired from 
Buffalora ; while on either flank of the buildings stood 
fragments of Szabo's, Baltin's and Lebzeltern's brigades. 
Upon this farm now converged the attack of several 
battalions ; the 4:5th regiment of the line, on the right 
of MacMahon's 1st Division, rushed upon it with the bay- 
onet, while several companies of Martimprey's column 
joined also in the assault. Cascina Nuova was captured 
and here some 1,500 prisoners were taken. There was 
now no obstacle between the Ilnd Corps and Magenta ; 
La Motterouge was ordered to attack from the direction 
of BufEalora, Espinasse from Marcallo, while Camou, 
deployed in rear of the two, was to support both attacks. 



MAGENTA AND SOLFERINO, 1859 133 



It was now 6.30 p.m. : Espinasse formed his leading 
brigade in two columns ; he himself accompanied that 
which moved djrect upon Magenta by the Marcallo 
road, while Gault — circling round to the east — was to 
approach Magenta from the Milan direction ; Castagny's 
brigade followed Espinasse more slowly and at some dis- 
tance in rear. Magenta was ill-adapted for defence ; 
by the gradual pressure applied by MacMahon, the Aus- 
trians were forced from the outworks and driven to the 
houses of the little town. Within its walls all was con- 
fusion ; scattered detachments of all arms and of every 
unit filled each street and open space, while some troops 
of the 1st and Ilnd Corps had already passed hurriedly 
through the town and retired on Corbetta. On the 
right of La Motterouge, Martimprey had rapidly pushed 
on at the head of two battalions and, crossing the rail- 
way, he entered upon a desperate struggle for the pos- 
session of the church and cemetery, in the course of 
which the general himself was seriously wounded and 
his battalions lost half their effectives. 

After a protracted struggle Vinoy had captured Ponte 
Vecchio but had been driven out by Diirf eld's brigade, 
and altogether the possession of this village changed 
hands some six times. On aU sides fresh troops were 
reaching the field ; the head of the Vth Austrian Corps 
was in sight ; Bataille's brigade of the Ilird (Can- 
robert's) Corps had arrived at the Ticino ; Fanti's div- 
sion of the Piedmontese Army was now visible on the 
high ground north of MarcaUo. The French artillery, 
however, was now gaining the upper hand ; General 
Auger had suceeeded in establishing a long line of guns 
on the left bank of the canal and had brought the whole 



134 THE CAMPAIGN OF 

ground between Ponte VeccMo and Magenta under a 
heavy fire. 

Towards 7.30 o'clock Espinasse ordered the final 
advance of his division upon Magenta, and his two 
columns entering from the north and east, while La 
Motterouge, closely followed by Camou, penetrated from 
the west, bloody fighting took place — in the streets, in the 
churches and from house to house. Here General Espin- 
asse was kiUed. The Austrians were driven from the 
town and fell back in great confusion upon Corbetta, 
covered by Liha, by Mensdorff, and by Lippert of the 
Vlllth Corps who had at this moment reached the scene 
of action. 

About Ponte Vecchio, however — on the left bank — 
the battle still raged. Eamming, having thrown a 
battalion into the village, had marched on Magenta, 
but Schwartzenberg's remaining brigades were fighting 
hard for victory. The village was captured and re- 
captured ; Vinoy was driven out by the Austrians, 
and they in turn were driven out by him, and at times 
portions of Ponte Vecchio were in possession of both 
combatants. On the right bank, too, the tide of battle 
rose and fell ; the arrival of reinforcements gave a 
fleeting success first to one side, then to the other ; 
at one time it seemed that here at least victory would 
crown the splendid efforts of Hartung and Diirfeld, 
when the French finally flung two fresh battaUons 
into the fight and secured success for the AUies in this 
portion also of the bloody field. Wetzlar's attack 
was paralysed by the heavy fire of the French, and 
the Austrians fell back in some disorder upon Robecco, 
closely followed by their adversaries, whose pursuit 



MAGENTA AND SOLFERINO, 1859 135 

was, however, checked by the brilhant efEorts and 
repeated charges of the 10th Austrian Hussars over 
ground quite unsuited to the action of cavahy. Marshal 
Canrobert himself was nearly captured by these gallant 
horsemen. 

In the battle the losses of the combatants were as 
follows : — 

Killed. Wounded. Killed. Wounded. Missing. 

French. Officers. 52. 194. Rank and File. 655. 3,029. 655. 
Austrians. „ 64. 221. „ „ 1,304. 4,137. 4,500. 

(Those shown as " missing " among the Austrians 
included prisoners.) The Times correspondent with 
the AUies states that " all the French and many of the 
Austrian wounded had been removed during the night, 
but on the third day after the battle some were foimd 
lying about the field and brought in. This was owing 
in a great measure to the idea which had been inculcated 
in the Austrian soldiers, that the Allies ill-treated and 
kiUed the wounded ; so they hid themselves, thinking 
the chances of starving preferable to certain death. 
Numbers concealed themselves in the cellars of the 
houses of Magenta and in the farmhouses near which 
they had been wounded." 

On this night the French and Piedmontese bivouacked 
practically where the close of the battle foimd them ; 
Eenault (Ilird Corps) and Vinoy (IVth) at Ponte 
Vecchio on either side of the canal, where they were 
joined during the night by the divisions of Trochu and 
BourbaM of the Ilird Corps. Of the Imperial Guard, 
Mellinet was at Buffalora and Ponte Nuovo, Camou 
was in rear of Magenta, while the whole of the Ilnd 



136 THE CAMPAIGN OF 

Corps occupied the town. The remaining two divisions 
of the IVth passed the night at Trecate, the 1st Corps 
at Olengo ; while of the Piedmontese divisions, Fanti 
was at Marcallo and the others at Turbigo and GaUiate. 
The Imperial Headquarters was at San Martino, that 
of Victor Emmanuel at ViUa Fortuna. 

Of the Austrian corps the 1st, Ilnd, and Vllth were 
in or about Corbetta and Cerella, the Ilird and Vth 
were at Robecco, MensdorfE at Bareggio, and Head- 
quarters at Abbiategrasso ; the nearest unit of the 
Vlllth Corps was at Bestazzo, and the IXth Corps was 
still south of Pavia. 

Duxiag the whole of the 4th, Urban had done nothing 
beyond assisting to delay — by the mere fact of the 
presence of two of his brigades south of Gallarate — 
the advance of the Piedmontese divisions. His instruc- 
tions, however, had been of the vaguest, for all that 
he had been told was that Clam, if he considered it 
advisable, would attack the Allies at Turbigo, but that 
if on the other hand he retired on Magenta, Urban 
should take the opportunity of striking at the flank 
of the French, were they then to advance. 

About midday on the 4th, Urban learnt from the 
commander of a detachment which he had placed at 
Ferno, that fighting appeared to be goiag on south of 
Cuggiono, but that touch could not be established with 
the troops of the 1st Corps. Urban now moved the 
two brigades with him by Busto Arsizio and Vanzaghello 
to beyond Magnano where he remained for the rest 
of the day, unable to advance and yet making no attempt 
to rejoia the main army. 

A consideration of the numbers actually engaged on 



MAGENTA AND SOLFERINO, 1859 137 

either side* seems to prove that a battle was not anti- 
cipated on the 4th, either by the Allies or by the 
Austrians. It appears to be clear that the situation 
was not thoroughly appreciated by the Austrian Com- 
mander-in-Chief, and that he was drawn into a general 
action through not supporting at the outset, and with 
sufficient forces, the lieutenant who had been surprised 
by the advance of MacMahon. 

By the morning of the 4th, GyTilai knew that a crossing 
had already been effected at Turbigo and that there 
was nothing to prevent the passage of the Trecate 
columns (already reported) at San Martino. Had 
then the bridges over the canal at Bernate, Buffalora, 
Ponte Nuovo and Ponte Vecchio been destroyed — and 
Clam had already on the night of the 2nd given orders 
that all of them were to be prepared for demoUtion — 
the junction of the two French columns must have 
been greatly hindered and delayed, and Gyulai might 
have had time to array largely superior forces between 
MarcaUo and Buffalora to oppose MacMahon ; might 
have watched the Une of the Grand Canal with com- 
paratively few troops ; and could himseK have moved 
in strength, by Robecco and Carpenzago, against the 
flank of the allied columns crossing at San Martino. 

Riistow suggests the following dispositions for the 
morning of the 4th (it being accepted that the canal 
bridges, except that at Robecco, had by then been all 
destroyed) : one of Clam's divisions at Cuggiono to 
check the advance of the Turbigo column ; Liechten- 
stein's corps to hold the canal liiae with weak detach- 

1 French, 48,090 men and 87 guns ; Austrians, 61,618 men 
and 176 guns. 



138 THE CAMPAIGN OF 

ments at Bernate, Buffalora, Ponte Nuovo and Ponte 
Vecchio, the remainder in reserve on the chaussee ; 
another of Clam's divisions and Zobel's corps as main 
reserve in Magenta, for employment when necessary 
against MacMahon ; while Schwartzenberg's corps 
at Robecco to be held in readiness to strike at the 
flank of the San Martino columns — ^whence too it could 
be drawn in to Magenta should it be found impossible 
to prevent the junction of the allied forces. 

In a letter published in a German newspaper shortly 
after the war, and generally attributed to Count Gynlai, 
the following statement occurs : " The battle of Magenta 
was in no way an accident. When the Austrian Com- 
mander gave up the advantage offered by his excellent 
position at Eobbio and Mortara against the oblique 
line of operations of the enemy, and when he had, as 
a consequence of this, also renounced all idea of the 
indirect defence of the Ticino by Pavia and Bereguardo, 
he decided on a direct defence behind the river. This 
could be carried out in two ways ; either from a position 
outside the Milan-Magenta road or by a flank attack — ■ 
of the same nature as the one from Mortara based on 
Pavia and Bereguardo — against the Une VerceUi — 
— Novara." 

The first of these alternatives was, he says, rejected, 
because in case of a reverse a retreat must have been 
made by Milan and Brescia. It was proposed then 
to remain in the vicinity of the Po to occupy with the 
help of the points Vaccarizza, Piacenza, Brescia and 
Borgoforte interior hues between the forces of the enemy 
in the north and those approaching from the south. It 
was also decided, on giving up the Lomellina, to make 



MAGENTA AND SOLFERINO, 1859 139 

a flank movement against the line Novara — Milan. 
Gyulai then suggests that when this retreat commenced 
on June 2, the orders given to the different corps 
had provided for the offensive being assumed against 
the enemy's flank whenever opportunity offered, and 
for retirement, if necessary, behind the Abbiategrasso- 
Milan canal. He hints that the sudden intervention 
of Hess upset these plans, and that the army thus reached 
its positions late and assumed a formation which had 
not been intended, with the result that the battle com- 
menced and was sustained, not — as had been planned — 
by the whole army, but by a portion of it only. 

Moltke insists that the Austrians should under no 
circumstances have joined battle on the 4th. The 
Allies would certainly have been able to complete 
their passage of the river undisturbed, but this could 
not by then have been prevented. He considers that 
all was not then lost, for if the Austrians had only 
concentrated somewhere north of the Abbiategrasso- 
Milan canal, the Allies must have attacked them 
before marching on Milan. One primary condition 
however, for not fighting on the 4th was that the Aus- 
trians should under no circumstances be drawn into a 
premature action ; if Clam was attacked, he should 
have been withdrawn towards Abbiategrasso. Moltke 
maintains that neither the French nor the Austrians 
intended to fight at Magenta, and that the Austrians 
permitted themselves to be drawn into the action through 
supporting Clam. If, however, they stood to fight 
at Magenta, they should have fought behind the line 
of the canal, since the river and canal were so close 
together that if an attempt were made to hold both, 



140 THE CAMPAIGN OF 



the canal must follow the loss of the river Une. The 
position, too, behind the canal was the more commanding, 
could have been held by fewer troops, and would have 
permitted of larger forces being employed against 
Turbigo. 

Even as late as the morning of the 4th when he was 
already engaged. Clam should have been recalled, 
and the decisive action postponed until the day fol- 
lowing. Kuhn, the Austrian Chief of the StafE, cal- 
culates that on the 5th the Austrians would have had 
a superiority of 45,000 men with 296 guns, and, according 
to Moltke, the night of the 4th was for Napoleon a 
very anxious one. He must have known that he had 
only been engaged with a portion of the Austrian Army, 
and that even that, though defeated, remained in 
threatening proximity. The whole of Gyulai's force 
could be brought up next day to renew the action, and 
this, as we shall see, was actually decided upon. 

A considerable portion of the alhed army was still 
on the right bank, while the passage at San Martino 
on the exposed flank might well have been endangered 
by an Austrian success in the morning about Ponte 
Nuovo. All that night the AlHes were passing infantry 
and artillery over the river in readiness for accepting 
battle next day under the best possible conditions. 

Von Caemmerer thoroughly approves of the decision 
to strike at the allied flank between the Ticino and 
Magenta, but finds serious fault with the execution, 
and especially with the ever present idea that an attack 
by the Alhes in the front had stiU to be guarded against. 
He rightly complains of the multiphcity and excessive 
detail of the orders issued by the Austrian Headquarter 



MAGENTA AND SOLFERINO, 1859 141 

Staff to subordinate commanders, but he finds fault 
with Gyulai for not giving Clam precise directions 
as to which side of the canal he was to take his stand. 

On neither side in this battle did everjrthing fall out 
quite as had been arranged or intended, but on the battle- 
field the French certainly displayed superior fighting 
powers, as their leaders showed better generalship. 
On the other side the Austrians were brought piecemeal 
into action ; there seemed at times something almost 
like a reluctance to engage ; and throughout reserves 
were kept far too much in hand — caution, as on pre- 
vious occasions, prevailing over enterprise. 



THE ACTION AT MELEGNANO 



CHAPTER VII 

THE ACTION AT MELEGNANO 

At 8.30 p.m. on the night of the battle, Gyulai — who 
at that houi was still in Rohecco — issued orders for 
the renewal of the action on the morrow. The Ilird 
Corps was directed to hold on to Robecco at all costs, 
the Vth Corps being placed in rear of the village ia 
support ; Schwartzenberg was given the command 
of both these corps. The 1st, Ilnd, Vllth, and Vlllth 
Corps were directed to hold the position about Corbetta, 
and these were all placed at the disposal of Count Clam. 
Schwartzenberg's line of retreat was by Abbiategrasso, 
that of Clam by Gaggiano. Shells were stUl falling 
in Robecco while those orders were being dispatched, 
and Army Headquarters withdrew to Abbiategrasso, 
where the details of the operations of the next day were 
worked out. 

From a fragmentary order — which was then drawn 
up but does not appear to have ever reached the Ilird 
Corps, for which it was intended — it seems that Gyulai's 
intentions were something as follows : in the event 
of the Allies moving forward in the morning, he pro- 
posed remaining altogether on the defensive until they 
should debouch from Magenta, when he intended 
falling upon them with the whole of his reserves — 

146 T 



146 THE CAMPAIGN OF 

driving them back and endeavouring to enter Magenta 
with them. The Austrian Commander-in-Chief gives 
no hint as to what was likely to be the result of the 
possible recapture of Magenta, and then proceeds to 
issue instructions as to retreat upon the hne of the 
Abbiategrasso-MUan canal, should a retirement become 
necessary. 

Late that night, Melczer, who was commanding in 
Milan, was ordered to evacuate the capital, sending 
all munitions and suppUes by rail to Verona and the 
troops to Lodi, whither also any of Clam's oncoming 
troops were to be directed ; the railway bridge over 
the Adda at Cassano was to be destroyed. 

At the time that these orders were in course of 
preparation, Gyulai seems to have had no conception 
of the degree of demorahzation of some of the units 
under his command. Clam had just dispatched a 
staff officer to Army Headquarters conveying a report 
of the deplorable condition of the portion of the army 
imder his orders, when, about midnight, he received 
Gynlai's instructions relative to the renewal of the 
battle on the morrow. Clam then sent off the following 
statement, which reached Abbiategrasso about 1.30 a.m. 
on the 5th, and which — together with one of similar 
purport and couched in much the same terms from 
Zobel — decided Gyulai to renounce all idea of resuming 
the offensive : " I have this moment — 11.45 p.m. — 
received from Rittmeister Zichy the general orders for 
to-morrow and feel myself urgently compelled to state 
that it is quite impossible that the instructions therein 
contained can be carried out, since their execution 
would only result in the complete and irreparable 



MAGENTA AND SOLFERINO, 1859 H7 



ruin of the army. Some of the troops are so absolutely 
disorganised that a complete company — far less a 
whole battalion — cannot be got together.^ Many 
days are required for ralljdng. The troops of all units 
are completely mixed up and scattered in different 
places. The only way to save the army is to retreat 
as quickly as possible. Under these circumstances 
it is quite impossible for me to comply with the in- 
structions received, and I shall therefore continue 
before dawn the retirement on Binasco which I have 
already ordered. I have made dispositions to this 
end as far as can be done, and it is impossible for me 
to countermand them. I therefore urgently and humbly 
request that the orders now received may be can- 
ceUed." 

At 3 a.m. then on the 5th, Army Headquarters 
issued the following orders for the retreat : — 

The Ilird Corps to move by Abbiategrasso to Mori- 

mondo on the 5th, and to Pavia on the 6th. 
The Vth Corps on the 5th to Fallavecchio and Basiano 

and next day to Fossarmato. 
The Vllth Corps to Rosate and Gudo Visconti on 
the 5th, and on the 6th to Campo Morto 
and Gualdrasco. 
The Ilnd Corps to move on the 5th by Guggiano to 
Tainate, and on the following day to Torre 
Vecchia. 
The Vllth Corps to Piave on the 5th, and Landriano 
on the 6th. 



' 47 officers and 3,411 men of seven different regiments had 
retired direct on Milan, besides individuals of other corps. 



148 THE CAMPAIGN OF 

^ The 1st Corps to Piave on the 5tli, and Torre VecoMa 
on the 6th. 

The Cavaby Division to move by Bareggio to Gudo 
Gambaredo on the 5th, and on the next day 
to Siziano. 

Army Headquarters was to be on the 5th at Binasco, 
and on the 6th at Belgiojoso. 

Before, however, any orders regarding the intended 
retreat had reached the Ilird and Vth Corps, fighting 
had again broken out at Carpenzago during the early 
hours of the 5th. Both sides declare that the action 
was initiated by the attack of the other, but the prob- 
abiHty is that it resulted naturally from the propinquity 
of the advanced troops of both. However this may 
be, Hartung's brigade of the Ilird Corps advanced 
from Robecco and vigorously attacked Ponte Vecchio, 
the 14th Austrian Regiment of infantry — which had 
already greatly distinguished itself and sufiered heavy 
losses the previous day — advancing with great dash 
against Bataille's brigade, which found the outposts 
at Ponte Vecchio. The French were here, however, 
in great strength, and the Austrians were repulsed, but 
were not pursued beyond Robecco. 

The Austrian losses in this little affair are not forth- 
coming in any detail, but they can hardly have been 
less than those of the French, who admit having had 
13 officers and 216 men killed and wounded. 

The French made no organised advance until the 6th, 

^ It should be noted that this corps was still anything but 
complete ; the brigade Hoditz was in Bergamo, Paszthory 
between Verona and Milan, and Brunner between Verona and 
Botzen. 



MAGENTA AND SOLFERINO, 1859 149 



when the Emperor Napoleon threw forward strong 
columns on either flank — the one to regain touch with 
the main body of the enemy retreating south, the other 
to endeavour to cut off Urban, who had been reported 
to be about Monza. The Ilird and IVth Corps moved 
accordingly upon Abbiategrasso, which they found to 
be evacuated and where they learnt that the Austrians 
were retiring upon Pavia and Lodi, while the Ilnd 
Corps with Desvaux's cavalry and the Piedmontese 
advanced on Rho and Garbagnate, whence a force of 
all arms was launched in pursuit of Urban. 

We have already seen that this commander had 
passed the whole of the 4th in a state of hesitation and 
inactivity, and it was not until the following morning 
that he made any movement. He then advanced to- 
wards Castano and Turbigo, and there at once found 
himself confronted by the Piedmontese divisions, which 
had crossed the canal and were moving on Magenta. 
He then appeared to realize the gravity of the general 
situation and his own immediate peril, and at once 
retired to Castegnate, sending orders to Rupprecht to 
withdraw from Somma and Varese — the troops at Somma 
to Gallarate and Castegnate, those at Varese to Tradate. 
On the 6th Urban learnt that Milan and Monza had 
been evacuated by the Austrians, and he at once fell 
back with all speed to escape the net which was being 
spread for him. 

MacMahon's 2nd Division (now commanded by 
Decaen vice Espinasse killed in action) moved up from 
Magenta on Garbagnate, the Piedmontese on San 
Lorenzo, while Garibaldi — whom recent events had 
rescued from a somewhat critical situation — descended 



150 THE CAMPAIGN OF 

from Varese by Como and Barlassina ; but Rupprecht's 
brigade, forming Urban's rearguard, just managed, by 
hard marcliing, to slip tkrougb tbe converging forces. 
During the night of the 6th all three brigades crossed 
the Lambro at Canonica, and pushing on at daybreak 
on the 7th made for the Adda by Vimercate. 

On the 7th the Allies entered Milan, and early next 
morning Napoleon and Victor Emmanuel rode in at the 
head of their victorious armies, receiAdng a tremendous 
reception from the MUanese ; an eye-witness, however, 
remarks : "On seeing this indescribable scene of grati- 
tude, joy, happiness, homage — one might almost say 
worship — it could not be forgotten that within fifty 
yards of the scene of this wild enthusiasm is the Gasa 
Creppi, on the balcony of which stood Charles Albert 
and Victor Emmanuel when, after the disasters of 
August, 1848, they were fired upon from the crowd 
below." 

On the night of the 7th the Imperial Headquarters 
was at Quarto Gaguino, the Guard was at Casa Pobietta, 
the 1st Corps at SanPietro d'Olmo, theillrd at Gaggiano, 
the IVth at Corsico, while the Piedmontese were at 
Nerviano, Parabiago and Lainate, the Royal Head- 
quarters being at the last-named place. The Ilnd 
French Corps was in Milan, while the cavalry divisions 
of Desvaux and Partouneaux occupied Magenta. " There 
are two great arteries of communication which intersect 
Lombardy from west to east, from the Ticino to the 
Mincio, thus forming two chief lines of operation in that 
country. One is the high road from Ponte di BuSalora 
to Milan and from thence to TrevigUo, Calcio, Brescia 



MAGENTA AND SOLFERINO, 1859 151 

and the Mincio ; the other more to the south from Pa via 
by Belgiojoso, Pizzighettone, Cremona and Bozzolo to 
Mantua. By the flanking movement of the Allies and 
the battle of Magenta the Austrians were cut off from 
the first of these two lines and pressed towards this 
latter, which they have always considered as their chief 
line of operations. Running as it does in the vicinity 
of the Po, it has been provided with a series of strong- 
holds, all of them erected at the passages of the con- 
fluents of the Po, which come down from the north almost 
at right angles to the latter. 

" The object being to out-manoeuvre rather than to 
beat the Austrians, who were retreating on the southern 
line towards the Mincio, the northern was chosen by 
the AUies for theirs. Again, keeping the object to be 
attained in view, nothing could be more appropriate 
than this choice and the plan based on it. The northern 
line of operations runs in a straight line, almost to the 
Mincio, is consequently shorter than the southern, to 
which besides the Austrians had, under the most favour- 
able circumstances, two marches from Abbiategrasso. 
Thus there was every possibility of reaching the 
Mincio line as soon as, if not sooner than, the 
enemy." 

The Austrian troops remained twenty-four hours in 
the positions which they had been told to reach on the 
6th, the outposts occupying a line drawn from the Ticino 
through Giovenzano and Carpiano ; Roden's brigade 
of the Vlllth Corps held Melegnano with outposts at 
San Giuhano on the Milan road, and both Roden and 
Mensdorff received the strictest orders to push patrols 
in all directions and right up to the very gates of the 



152 THE CAMPAIGN OF 

capital. The upper Adda about Treviglio was held 
by the brigades of Hoditz and Brunner. 

The Aiistrian retreat was continued on the 7th as 
follows : — 

Vlllth Corps with four brigades to the right bank 
of the Adda at Lodi — Roden remaining in Meleg- 
nano. 

Vllth Corps to the left bank of the Adda at Lodi. 

Ist Corps to hold the Une of the Adda from Lodi to 
Treviglio with three brigades of Montenuovo's 
division, one of these three being Teuchert's, 
made up from the late garrison of Milan . 

Hoditz to hold the Hne of the railway from Brescia 
to Grorlago. 

The Cavalry Division to Lodi, bivouacking on the left 
bank of the Adda on the Pandino road. 

All these were placed under the orders of Benedek, 
commanding the Vlllth Corps. 

The Ilnd Corps was to move to Borghetto. 

The Ilird Corps, with the troops from Pavia — the 
latter under General Pokorny — to bivouac be- 
tween San Angiolo and Bargano : these two corps, 
with the remainder of the Ist, moving by the 
same road after crossing the Adda, were placed 
imder Schwartzenberg's command. 

The IXth Corps marched to Codogno, while of the Vth 
one division (Sternberg's) moved to Campo 
Rinaldo, and Paumgartten's to Santa Cristina. 

From the above it will be seen that the retirement 
of the Austrian Army was to be carried out in three 
great columns : that on the right, under Benedek, by 
Lodi, Soncino, Manerbio to Montechiaro ; the centre, 



MAGENTA AND SOLFERINO, 1859 153 



under Schwartzenberg, by Borghetto, Bertonico and 
Robeoco to Valeggio, Volta and Roverbello ; while the 
third or left column, accompanied by the heavy baggage 
and other impedimenta, moved by Pizzighettone, Cre- 
mona and Piadena towards Mantua. The different 
columns were directed so to time their marches as to 
reach their destinations on the 11th and 12th, but the 
Vlllth Corps, which was as yet intact, was, with the 
Cavalry Division, to follow a day's march in rear of 
the Vllth Corps, acting as a rearguard and maintaining 
touch with the enemy. 

Benedek was given the following instructions : in 
the event of the pursuit not being pressed he was to 
take up a position about Montechiaro, occupying Ponte 
San Marco and Calcinate in strength ; if, however, he 
were closely followed, he was to withdraw by Castiglione 
delle Stiviere behind the Miucio, making towards Valeg- 
gio with the bulk of his troops whUe covering his flank 
with a small force near Lonato. Should, on the other 
hand, his retirement by Leno and Montechiaro appear 
likely to involve him in any danger, he was to use 
his discretion as to retiring by Asola and Goito. 

It was the intention of Gyulai, should the retreat of 
the Second Army not be molested, to concentrate be- 
tween CastigUone and Lonato — holding Ponte San Marco 
and Montechiaro as advanced posts — whence he esti- 
mated that the line of the Mincio could best be defended, 
while retaining one corps for the defence of the lower 
Chiese and Oglio. 

Urban, who had this day regained touch with the 
main army, was directed to send aU his heavy ordnance 
and other stores to Peschiera under the escort of one 



154 THE CAMPAIGN OF 

of his brigades, which, on completion of this duty, was 
to return and take up a position on the Chiese at Ponte 
San Marco and so safeguard the right flank of the army. 
With his two other brigades Urban was ordered to cross 
into Valtehn by Edolo and the Aprioa pass, crush the 
revolution which had there broken out and restore order, 
taking measures at the same time for safeguarding his 
ultimate retreat into the southern Tyrol by Mount 
Tonale. 

The strength of the garrison of Piacenza was raised, 
for the Austrian Commander-in-Chief hoped eventually 
to use the fortress as the pivot of an energetic offensive, 
which appeared to Gyulai not to be impossible in view 
of the serious losses which he believed the French to 
have suffered at Magenta. Bergamo and Brescia were 
for the present to be held, the garrison of the former to 
effect its ultimate retreat by Eomano to Antignate, 
there joining on to Montenuovo's troops from Trevigho, 
and withdrawing thence to Bagnolo ; the troops from 
Brescia were later on to retreat behind the Chiese, hold- 
ing the bridges at Ponte San Marco, Calcinato, and 
Montechiaro. 

During the night of the 7th-8th, Gyulai received 
from the Emperor Franz Josef stringent orders to stand 
fast on the Adda, or, in the event of that river being 
already passed in retreat, at least to take up a position 
on the high ground between Piacenza and Lodi, and 
upon these orders Gyulai isued very early on the morning 
of the 8th the following instructions for the resumption 
of the offensive— instructions which, however, did not 
reach some units until they had already recommenced 
their retirement : Pa via, which was already evacuated. 



MAGENTA AND SOLFERINO, 1859 155 

was to be reoccupied by one brigade of the Vth Corps, 
the remaining brigades taking up a position about Corte 
Olona. The Ilird Corps was to stand fast at San 
Angiolo, sending one brigade to Landriano and stretch- 
ing out a hand to Roden's brigade of the Vlllth Corps 
in Melegnano. The 1st and Ilnd Corps were to remain 
in Borghetto, while the Vllth and Vlllth Corps and 
the Cavahy Division were to halt in Lodi, sending out 
strong patrols towards Milan, Paullo and Melzo, and 
establishing a chain of posts on the right bank of the 
Adda covering the north-west of Lodi. Roden was to 
place Melegnano in a state of defence and join hands 
with the brigade in Landriano ; the IXth Corps was to 
concentrate in Codogno ; while Bergamo and Brescia 
were to be held until the army should resume its retreat. 
The brigades of Hoditz and Brunner were placed at 
the disposal of Urban, who was now ordered to concen- 
trate his five brigades at Trevigho and Canonica ; while 
Montenuovo was directed to halt on the Adda, with 
Pandino as his centre, and watch the line of the river 
from Lodi to the Milan-Treviglio road — ^if possible, 
occupying Paullo and sending strong reconnoitring 
parties to Melzo and Gorgonzola. 

Early on the 8th, it becoming apparent that the Allies 
were advancing towards the Lambro from Milan, Benedek 
ordered up Boer's brigade from Lodi to support Roden 
in Melegnano, where Berger, the divisional general, was 
himself in command. Berger had been instructed to 
ofier resistance only to weak detachments of the enemy, 
and to fall back before any show of real strength. 

The report of the advance of the Allies, and of the 
measures which Benedek had adopted, reached Army 



156 THE CAMPAIGN OF 

Headquarters in Codogno about 1 p.m., and Gyulai 
at once issued orders for striking at the enemy's flank 
on tlie morrow. The Vlllth, supported by the Vllth 
Corps, was to hold the enemy at Melegnano, while the 
Ilird, 1st, and Ilnd struck at his right or western flank ; 
the Vth Corps was to advance along the left bank of 
the Ticino in the direction of Rosate, thus guarding the 
Austrian left, while the IXth Corps was to form a general 
reserve at San Angiolo. These dispositions, however, 
did not commend themselves to Baron Hess, who con- 
sidered that any offensive effort was hopeless in view 
of the numerical superiority of the enemy, and after a 
long discussion with Gyulai the idea of the offensive 
was — apparently under some pressure — abandoned. 

The Allies seem to have been well informed of the 
movements of the Austrians, and especially of the occu- 
pation of Melegnano by Roden, and of the efforts which 
that commander was making to put the town in a state 
of defence. The Emperor Napoleon was, however, unable 
to satisfy himself whether the intention was merely 
to cover the further retreat of the Austrians, or whether 
the town was meant to serve as a base for an offensive 
movement against Milan. On the evening of the 7th, 
therefore. Marshal Baraguey d'Hilliers received orders 
to take steps towards clearing up the situation. The 
Marshal was instructed to endeavour — with the assist- 
ance of the Ilnd Corps — to intercept the Austrians 
retiring from Binasco and Landriano on Lodi, and for 
this purpose he was to move at 4 a.m. on the 8th to- 
wards Melegnano, halting either at San Donato or San 
Giuliano ; during the 8th, however, further orders 
reached Baraguey, under which he was to carry Meleg- 



MAGENTA AND SOLFERINO, 1859 157 

nano the same day. For this purpose MacMahon's ^ 
corps was placed under his orders, while General Niel 
was also detailed to support the movement. 

Baraguey's 1st Division (the brigades Dieu and 
Blanchard) having reached San Donate, branched off 
by Civesio, Viboldone and Mezzano and made for 
Riozzo, in view of estabUshing itself at Cerro to cut 
off the retreat of the Austrians from Melegnano by the 
right bank of the Lambro. The 2nd Division (the 
brigades Niol and de Negrier) quitted the maia road 
at San Giuhano and marched down the Lambro by 
Zivido and San Brera to gain the Austrian right flank ; 
while the 3rd Division (the brigades Goze and Dumont) 
moved down the main road straight upon Melegnano, 
but being greatly delayed by the congested state of 
the road, it was not until 5.45 p.m. that this division 
arrived within sight of the town. The road by which 
the 3rd Division moved was broad and straight and 
was bordered throughout by wide ditches, crossed here 
and there by stone bridges leading out to the fields, 
which were seamed by irrigation cuts and covered with 
high crops and trees, the field of view being thus greatly 
restricted. 

Roden's brigade had been in occupation of Melegnano 
since the evening of the 6th, and considerable time and 
labour had been expended in putting the place in a 
state of defence ; the churchyard lying to the front 
of the town had walls six feet high, and these had been 
provided with banquettes, whUe a farm on the opposite 
side of the main road had been fortified. The chaussee 

1 MacMahon had been created a Marshal of France and Duke 
of Magenta for his share in the viotory of the 4th. 



158 THE CAMPAIGN OF 

itseK had been cut and a strong barricade erected across 
it, and at tbe northern entrance of the town an earth- 
work had been thrown up and four guns there placed 
in position ; the walls, too, to the north had all been 
loopholed. Melegnano was held by the 2nd and 
3rd battalion of the 11th Infantry Regiment — the 
whole of the 3rd battalion holding the Milan front, 
while the 2nd gave one company for the defence 
of the cemetery and half another for that of the 
farm. Four companies of this regiment guarded 
the west and south-west, towards Landriano. The 
Grenadier Battalion of the same regiment formed 
the local reserve, and was posted on the east 
side of the town. A general reserve, of two batta- 
lions, one and a half batteries and a few cavalry, was 
placed to the south-east of Melegnano in the angle 
between the Lodi and Mulazzano roads. The out- 
posts which had held the line Mezzano — San Brera — 
Colturano fell back before the advance of the French 
columns. 

Melegnano is divided by the Lambro into two parts 
of unequal size ; it is, moreover, a very straggling town, 
formed of groups of detached buildings, making it 
difficult to defend, and with an old castle in the larger 
or western portion of the town, surrounded on three 
sides by a moat. 

About 6 p.m. Baraguey ordered Bazaine (3rd Division) 
to attack ; a company of zouaves extended on either 
side of the main road, and two guns came into action 
on the chaussee itseK, engaging the Austrian guns behind 
the earthwork. Very soon Bazaine — considering that 
the vigour of the Austrian artillery fire was slackening — 



MAGENTA AND SOLFERINO, 1859 159 

prepared to assault ; the knapsacks were tlirowii down 
on the road, three companies of zouaves deployed to 
the right, followed by two battalions of the 34th regi- 
ment of the line, while the remainder of the zouaves, 
supported by the 33rd, charged up the road straight 
at the barricade. The French artillery ceased firing, 
and the 2nd brigade — halting at the spot where 
the road had been cut — ^remained in reserve. 

In the meantime the 2nd Division (Ladmirault) 
had barely reached San Brera when firing was heard on 
its right ; pushing on rapidly, the 10th battalion of 
chasseurs and the 15th regiment of the line were soon 
able to join hands with Bazaine's zouaves, and forcing 
back the Austrians in this quarter, possessed themselves 
of the outskirts of the town between the river and the 
San Brera road. 

The divisional artillery had accompanied General 
Forey, and was established about 1,200 yards from the 
village with infantry on either flank and the rest of the 
brigade ia reserve. The other brigade had just de- 
bouched from Mezzano. MacMahon during this time 
was endeavouring, in accordance with his instructions, 
to gain the extreme right and rear of the Austrians. 
His 2nd Division (Decaen) leading, he marched by 
Linate and Bettola and reached Mediglia about 4 p.m., 
La Motterouge — some considerable distance in rear — 
making for the same spot by Monticello and Carpianello. 
Decaen moved on Balbiano and was preparing there to 
halt when the guns of the 1st Corps were heard in action, 
and he at once resimied his march, pushing on through 
Dressano with the idea of placing his division astride 
the Melegnano-Lodi road. 



i6o THE CAMPAIGN OF 

The IVth Corps (Niel) made a wide detoui to the 
west, and the two leading divisions reached and halted 
at Carpiano, whUe the third, pushing further south, 
arrived at Gnignano and threw forward artillery and 
infantry towards Landriano. Here about 6 p.m. the 
IVth Corps heard the sound of the firing at Melegnano, 
but no attempt whatever was made to advance or co- 
operate further, in the absence of orders other than 
those issued : " That the IVth Corps was to be held 
in readiness to assist the 1st Corps — ^if required." 

Bazaine's leading battalions had now made repeated 
assaults upon the front of the town ; driven back 
more than once by a murderous fiire from the Austrians 
in the houses and behind the enclosures, the zouaves 
and 33rd returned again and again to the attack ; first 
the cemetery and then the farms were captured and the 
two main streets were occupied, when Ladmirault, 
penetrating at the same time from the east, drove in 
upon Bazaine's men the defenders of that flank. There 
was desperate fighting hand to hand, the Austrians 
offering a gaUant resistance to overwhelming numbers 
and nearly capturing in the mMee the Eagle of the 33rd. 
One of the Austrian guns at the northern entrance of 
the town was dismounted by a shell and captured by 
the French, but the others were successfully brought off. 

Berger now ordered Roden to evacuate Melegnano 
covered by Boer's brigade, which had come up and 
was in position in rear of the town, holding the Casa 
Bernada and deployed towards Riozzo. 

Ladmirault, collecting portions of three of his bat- 
talions, sent them towards the Mulazzano road, with 
orders to cross it and endeavour to cut the Austrian 



MAGENTA AND SOLFERINO, 1859 161 

retreat ; but these were received by so heavy a fire 
from Boer's men that they were not able to advance ; 
MacMahon's guns, however, had reached the Mulazzano 
road more to the east, and were able seriously to harass 
the final retirement of the Austrians upon Lodi. Ro- 
den's brigade passed through that of Boer — who had 
by now been mortally wounded — and the remains of 
the two Austrian brigades were able to efiect their 
retreat, practically unmolested, under the cover of a 
violent rainstorm which had long been threatening, 
and which now burst over the field. 

The French had pushed their attack so quickly that 
the greater part of the town was already in their hands 
while many isolated bodies of the enemy were still 
holding out in the houses and enclosures, and to this 
circumstance may in large measure be attributed 
the many captures which were effected. That the 
brigades under Boer and Roden did weU is unquestion- 
able ; the French were in six times greater strength, 
and if the " missing " are left out of count, the Austrians 
inflicted a greater loss than they themselves suffered, 
while they were able to draw off without serious hind- 
rance. For this last they were indebted to the failure 
in combination of the 1st and Ilnd Corps and to the 
extraordinary inaction of Niel, but as Baraguey d'Hil- 
liers states in his report on the action to the Emperor : 
" Pour que ces combinaisons pussent avoir un plein 
sumIs, il fallait que le temps ne manqudt pas d, leur 
developpement, et, en me prescrivant d'operer le jour 
mime de mon depart de San Pietro d'Olmo, Voire 
Majeste rendait ma tdche plus difficile.^' 

The French acknowledge a loss of 153 killed, 734 

M 



i62 THE CAMPAIGN OF 

wounded. (70 officers were killed and wounded) and 64 
missing, while the Austrian casualties are given as 120 
kiUed, 240 wounded, and 1,114 missing, of whom some- 
thing over a hundred only were able to rejoin their 
units a few days after the action. 

Of the three French corps engaged at Melegnano, 
the 1st occupied the town that night ; the Ilnd bivouacked 
at Dressano, the IVth at Carpiano ; while of the Austrians 
the IXth Corps, with Army Headquarters, was in 
Codogno, the Vllth and Vlllth and part of the 1st in 
Lodi ; at Borghetto was the rest of the 1st and the whole 
of the Ilnd, while the Ilird was at San Angiolo and the 
Vth at Corte Olona. 

Moltke does not see that any object whatever was 
gained by the Austrians standing fast at Melegnano, 
their action being only justified if they had any intention 
of moving forward across the Lambro, and there was 
certainly at this time no idea of resuming the offensive 
against the concentrated army of the Allies. All the 
Austrians really needed to do was to halt and endeavour 
to glean sonde intelligence of the enemy's movements' ; 
it was, above aU things, important to avoid just then 
the moral effect of heavy losses accompanied by defeat. 

Lecomte says that to derive any real advantage, 
the Allies shoidd have advanced upon Melegnano forty- 
eight hours earher, when Lodi and Pizzighettone might 
well have been for Gyulai what the passage of the 
Beresina was for the First Napoleon. He blames Bara- 
guey d'HUliers for assaulting Melegnano and thereby 
incurring such heavy casualties, pointing out that he 
was not, as stated in his report on the action, directed 



MAGENTA AND SOLFERINO, 1859 163 

to " chasser Vennemi de Mdegnano," but to " intercepter 
les Autrichiens qui se retirent de Binasco et de Lan- 
driano sur Lodi." This mission, Lecomte submits, 
might well have been accompUshed by holding Roden in 
front with a small force, and outflanking him on the left 
with both the 1st and Ilnd Corps. 



MOVEMENTS OF THE VTH FRENCH CORPS- 
ACTION AT CASTENEDOLO— AUSTRIANS 
RETREAT BEHIND THE MINCIO 



CHAPTER VIII 

MOVEMENTS OF THE VTH FBENCH CORPS — ACTION AT 
CASTENEDOLO — AUSTEIANS RETREAT BEHIND THE 
MINCIO 

It was stated in the first chapter that on the mobilization 
of the " Army of Italy," a Vth Corps had been formed 
and placed under the command of Prince Napoleon, 
and that Generals D'Autemarre and Uhrich had been 
appointed to lead the two divisions of which it was 
composed. So far but Uttle has been heard of the move- 
ments of this corps, to which a special mission had been 
confided, and it may be as well to give a short account 
of its operations before proceeding with the narrative 
of the events in Lombardy subsequent to the action at 
Melegnano. 

Prince Napoleon had disembarked at Genoa on May 
12, but the moiety of his command was taken from him, 
when — within a week of his arrival upon Itahan soil — 
D'Autemarre's division was placed under the orders of 
the Commander of the 1st Corps, and thenceforth took 
part in the operations described in the preceding chap- 
ters. There only remained, therefore, under the imme- 
diate orders of the Prince, Uhrich's division and the 
cavalry brigade of General Dalmas de Laperouse, and 
with these troops the Commander of the Vth Corps 



i68 THE CAMPAIGN OF 



was directed to re-embark and proceed to Leghorn for 
the occupation of Tuscany, which had been abandoned 
by its Grand Duke, and for which protection against 
■the Austrians had been sought by Tuscan envoys sent 
to the Emperor Napoleon. The mission confided to 
the Prince was to efEect a diversion in the south and so 
cause the enemy to divide his forces, and further to 
preserve the neutraUty of the Papal States ; it was 
authoritatively stated that no attempt to violate the 
territory of the PontifE would be made by the Allies 
provided Austria exercised equal consideration. It 
was also anticipated that the presence in Tuscany of 
even a weak corps would tend to prevent the Austrians 
from drawing suppUes from Central Italy ; while the 
Prince would be able to assist in the organisation of the 
military forces of the Duchies. For the furtherance 
of this end, the Prince was to assume command of the 
Tuscan troops under General UUoa and of the various 
bodies of volunteers under command of General Mezza- 
capo. 

The Prince reached Leghorn on the 23rd, and, three 
days later, Uhrich's division was disembarked, the 
mounted troops of Laperouse only arriving on May 30. 

The Commander of the Vth Corps occupied the posi- 
tions to the west of the Apennines with his 2nd 
brigade (du Bourguet), so as to watch the Duchy of 
Modena with the assistance of the local troops and volun- 
teers ; while the 1st brigade (Grandchamp), with the 
cavalry, was concentrated in Florence. Reconaissances 
were pushed in all directions, and the French troops 
were kept constantly exercised, ready for the part which 
all hoped they yet might take in the more active work 



MAGENTA AND SOLFERINO, 1859 169 

of the campaign. Aiter the battle of Magenta, Prince 
Napoleon asked sanction to cross the Apennines and 
establish touch with the main army of the Allies — driving 
the Austrians back to the right bank of the Po. As a 
matter of fact, however, the enemy had by now already 
prepared to evacuate the Duchies ; Ancona was given 
up, the garrisons of Pavia and Piacenza were withdrawn 
early in June, and on the 12th the troops at Bologna 
fell back upon Perrara, preparatory to retiring across 
the Po. The Duchess of Parma now fled to Switzerland, 
while the Duke of Modena joined the staff of the Emperor 
Franz Josef. 

On June 12 the Vth Corps commenced its march to 
the north, passed the Apennines, by bad roads and in 
tempestuous weather, about the 16th, and by the 27th 
Uhrich's diAdsion was concentrated in Parma. It was 
not, however, until the end of the month that the Vth 
Corps was ultimately reunited at Piadena. 

No forward movement was made by the AUies either 
on the 9th or 10th, and the time was passed by the 
troops in the rest they so much needed, and by the 
Emperor Napoleon in perfecting his arrangements for 
the advance. To reach the Mincio from the Ticino, it 
was necessary to cross all the northern tributaries of 
the Po — each, of which — ^the Adda, the Serio, the Oglio, 
the Mella and the Chiese — forms an excellent defensive 
line for an army retreating eastward. It was not yet 
definitely known to what extent the Austrians had 
really suffered at Magenta, and it was confidently 
expected that G3rulai would stand on the Adda, whose 
torrent can only be passed at the bridges of Vaprio and 



lyo THE CAMPAIGN OF 

Cassano, Lodi and Pizzighettone. The roads which 
lead across the river at the two latter places are that 
from Milan to Crema by Melegnano and that ffrom Pavia 
to Mantua, and it was only by these roads that the 
Second Army was conducting its retreat. It was known, 
too, that the bulk of the army was about Lodi, and it 
was presumed that Gyulai would await attack on the 
lower portion of the Adda. 

Reconnaissances sent along the Lodi road soon made 
it clear that the town was evacuated and that the Aus- 
trians — abandoning aU attempt to defend the hne of the 
river — were in full retreat, and the Emperor Napoleon 
then resolved to foUow by the northern road, crossing 
the Adda at Vaprio and Cassano. Vaprio was given 
up to the troops under Victor Emmanuel and Garibaldi, 
while the bulk of the French corps prepared to cross at 
Cassano. 

In pursuance of these intentions it was necessary first 
to recall the 1st, Ilnd, and IVth Corps to the Milan — - 
Cassano line. On the 11th the 1st Corps was directed 
on Linate and Limito, MacMahon moved on Paullo 
and Gavazzo, while Niel took, in Milan, the place of 
Canrobert who marched to Melzo. 

The ItaUan Army, starting on the 10th, reached Monza 
on that day and Vimercate on the 11th, intending to 
reach the Adda on the day following. 

Canrobert reached Cassano on the 12th, but the four 
bridges — road and railway — over the Muzza canal and 
the Adda, had been destroyed by the troops of the 
enemy retiring from Milan, and three pontoon and other 
bridges had to be thrown across ; this work was com- 
pleted long before dark and the Ilird Corps, crossing 



MAGENTA AND SOLFERINO, 1859 171 

over, reached Treviglio that night. The 1st Corps 
occupied Meko, Pozzuolo and Vignate, the Ilnd Albig- 
nano and Truccazzano ; the Vth Corps bivouacked at 
Pioltello, while the Guard was at Gorgonzola. The 
Italians, crossing the Adda at Vaprio, had occupied 
Ciserano, Cologno, Lurano, Pagazzano, Morengo and 
Romano — ^thus covering the front and left of the Ilird 
Corps. 

On the 13th MacMahon moved over to the left bank 
and reached Caravaggio ; the 1st Corps marched to Tre- 
viglio, which Canrobert vacated, moving to Mozzanica ; 
while in rear Niel with the IVth Corps reached Albignano, 
TreceUa and Pozzuolo, and the Guard Le Fomaci — 
both these last ready to cross next day. On the 14th 
the Guard, with the Imperial Headquarters, marched to 
Treviglio ; the Ilird Corps crossed the Serio at Moz- 
zanica and pursued, from Antignate, the Soncino road, 
leaving the Calcio road free for the Ilnd Corps following 
in rear. The 1st Corps moved up to Mozzanica, while 
the IVth marched to Caravaggio. Thus the French 
Army had its front on the Oglio covered by the Ilnd 
and Illrd Corps at Urago and Soncino, while the Guard, 
the 1st and the IVth Corps were massed a short distance 
in rear. On this day the Italian divisions on the left 
reached Coccaglio and Castegnate, thus threatening 
the Austrian right and extending a hand to Garibaldi. 

Any intention which Gyulai might have entertained 
on the 8th of striking at the flank of his enemy was 
definitely abandoned on the full results of the action 
at Melegnano becoming known, and late that night 
orders for the continuance of the retreat were issued 
as under : — 



172 THE CAMPAIGN OF 



The 1st Corps to move from Borghetto on Bertonico, 
cross the Adda and take up a position beyond 
Gombito. 
The Ilnd Corps — also from Borghetto — to move 
north and hold as long as possible the passages 
over the Muzza on the Borghetto — ^Lodi and 
Lodi — Castelpuste Orlengo roads — eventually 
retiring on the last named place. 
The Vth Corps to move to Castelpuste Orlengo. 
The Illrd Corps to form a reserve to the Ilnd Corps 
behind the Muzza, retiring eventually on Castelpuste 
Orlengo. 

The Vth and IXth Corps were each to give a battaUon 
for the strengthening of the Piacenza garrison, and 
Urban was directed to abandon the projected expedition 
to the Valtehn and to retire from Canonica, Romana, 
Urago and Bagnolo to Montechiaro. It was found, 
however, to be impossible to carry out the above orders 
in their entirety, and consequently the movements on 
the 9th were unimportant. 

It was now ordered that the strong places Piacenza, 
Pizzighettone and Cremona were to be evacuated, and 
their fortifications, as far as possible, dismantled, and it 
was calculated that the garrisons thus set free, from 
those and similar places, would add some 14,000 men to 
the effectives of the Second Army. 

To effect the required concentration on the Chiese 
the following orders were issued on the 9th : — 

The Vllth Corps to move on the 10th by Crema, 
Orzinovi, Leno to Montechiaro — arriving on the 
14th. 
The Vlllth, with Mensdorff's Cavalry Division, to 



/ 



\ 



MAGENTA AND SOLFERINO, 1859 173 

move on the llth by Crema, Orzinovi, Manerbio 
to Montecliiaro — arriving on the 14th. 
The 1st to move on the 10th by Soresina, Castel 
Visconti, and Mottella to Carpenedolo — arriving 
on the 13th. 
The Ilnd to move on the 10th by Soresina, Castel 
Visconti and Gabbiano to Carpenedolo — arriving 
on the 13th. 
The Ilird to move on the 10th by Soresina and Acqua- 

lunga to Carpenedolo — arriving on the 14th. 
The Vth to move on the 10th by Zanengo, Farfengo, 
Quinzano and Pralboino to Casalmore — arriving 
on the 14th. 
Urban to move on the 12th by Urago d'Oglio, Con- 

ticeUe to Castenedolo — ^arriving on the 14th. 
The IXth Corps to reach Acquanegra (west of Cre- 
mona), on the 10th, and to move thence by 
Qgognolo, Piadena and Marcaria to Piubega — 
arriving on the 14th. 
Army Headquarters to move on the 10th by Soresina 
and Verolanova to Carpenedolo — arriving on 
the 14th. 
In issuing the above, Gyulai expressed his intention, 
if the enemy did not harass the retreat, of concentrat- 
ing the whole of the Second Army in the Lonato — 
Castiglione position. 

Late on the evening of this day Benedek represented 
that for the Vllth and Vlllth Corps to hold the passages 
of the Adda until the 11th would, from the proximity 
of the AlUes, probably bring on an action, and sanction 
was therefore accorded to his proposal to evacuate his 
position during the night of the 9th- 10th ; but he was 



174 THE CAMPAIGN OF 

enjoined to burn tlie bridges behind Mm and to remain 
with both corps on the left bank dming the 10th. The 
Ilird Corps was at the same time ordered to move to 
the left bank and to destroy the bridges after crossing. 

The march orders for the 10th were carried out with 
some sUght alterations ; the Cavaby Division which 
was to have marched on the 11th withdrew from 
Lodi on the 10th and reached Crema. The 1st Corps 
bivouacked at Azzanello instead of at Castel Vis- 
conti. 

The garrison of Piacenza — some 9 battahons of in- 
fantry, If squadrons, 2 batteries, 1 company of garrison 
artillery and 2 of engineers, under Major-General 
Eoesgen — quitted the fortress at 2 p.m. The Com- 
mander had been ordered to join the army by way of 
BresceUo and Borgoforte ; but a revolt had broken out 
in Parma, the town of Fiorenzola was already in the 
hands of the revolutionary party, and Roesgen wisely 
decided on retreating by Pizzighettone and the left 
bank of the Po, aind was able to join the Vth Corps 
the same night. Of the guns in the fortress, 91 were 
sent by water to Borgoforte, 5 by land to Mantua, while 
about 130 others were destroyed or spiked ; the two 
outer forts were blown up, and one pier and two arches 
of the Trebbia bridge were destroyed. 

The Commandant of Brescia was directed to stand 
fast, if possible, until the 11th, when he was to retire 
with the garrison to Lonato, after sending aU the 
railway rolling stock to Verona and blowing up the 
two bridges on the Chiese at Ponte San Marco. 

On the 11th the moves were carried out as previously 
arranged, with the exception that the Ilird Corps this 



MAGENTA AND SOLFERINO, 1859 175 

day reacheff^Padernello beyond Acqualunga, while 
Urban, who was not to have retired before the 12th, 
but whose position at Vaprio — Canonica had been 
somewhat threatened, fell back — one brigade by Co- 
logno — Romano, the other by Morengo ; but the Serio 
being in flood, the only bridge available was that at 
Mozzanica and the crossing was greatly delayed, with 
the result that the brigades only reached Antignate, 
Romano and Fara. On this day, too, Montenuovo's 
division fell back behind the Serio and held an outpost 
line on that river from Crema to Sola. 

On the 11th three more strong places were evacuated 
by the Austrians. Early in the afternoon the heavy 
guns of Pizzighettone were either destroyed or sent off 
to Mantua ; the bridge over the Adda was set on fire 
and the garrison withdrew. In the same way Cremona 
was evacuated, the guns being removed to Mantua ; 
while Brescia was also denuded of troops and munitions, 
the bridges over the Chiese being blown up as soon as 
the garrison had crossed at Ponte San Marco. 

The retirement of the Austrians on the 12th was 
carried out without any interference from the Allies, 
and, so far as the Austrian information went, none of 
the enemy's regular troops had passed the Adda up to 
midday, although some of Garibaldi's men had been 
seen in the neighbourhood of CoccagHo. Urban had 
this day reached Chiari and Cizzago, and had sent a 
small force of all arms towards Pontoglio to watch the 
crossing there and patrol towards Palazzolo. This 
detachment at once reported that Palazzolo had been 
occupied in force since the previous day, that reinforce- 
ments had arrived there during the night — of which 



176 THE CAMPAIGN OF 

4,000 men had pushed on to Brescia — and further that 
Garibaldi was advancing on Pontoglio. 

The somewhat premature evacuation of Brescia had 
left Urban in a critical position, since his right and rear 
were both threatened by Garibaldi's troops. He was 
accordingly ordered to fall back as rapidly as possible 
behind the Mella, while Reznicek's brigade was directed 
to move on the evening of the 12th to Azzano-Capriano, 
secure the crossing at that spot and push strong patrols 
towards Brescia. 

News coming in to Army Headquarters this evening 
that Brescia had been occupied by 12,000 Italians 
under Garibaldi and Cialdini, decided Gyulai to effect 
some alterations in his dispositions for the 13th : the 
Vllth Corps marched to Castenedolo, the Vlllth to 
OfB.aga and Cignano, Mensdorff to Paverzano, the Ilird 
Corps stood fast at Padernello, the Ilnd at Quinzano 
and the Vth at Verolanova and Pontevico, while the 
IXth Corps marched to Marcaria and Bozzolo. Rezni- 
cek had pushed forward very early on the roads leading 
to Brescia, maintaining communication in rear with 
the Vllth Corps, but on Urban crossing the Mella and 
estabUshing himself in Poncarale, Bagnolo and Capriano, 
Reznicek fell back upon the 1st Corps. 

On the 14th the Austrians occupied the following 
places : — 

Urban in Castenedolo. 

The 1st Corps in Bagnolo. 

The Vllth at Montechiaro with a brigade in Calcinato. 

The Vlllth and Cavalry Division in Leno. 

The Vth in Gottolengo and Isorella. 

The Ilird in Gambara. 



MAGENTA AND SOLFERINO, 1859 177 



The Ilnd in Pralboino. 
The IXth in Maroaria. 



On the 15th MacMahon crossed the Oglio at Calcio 
and took up a position in front of Urago, the Imperial 
Guard and Ilird Corps closing up to him in rear and 
forming a second line at Romano, Covo and Fontanella ; 
the remainder of the French corps did not move, but 
the Italians reached Brescia, with Garibaldi's troops in 
their front moving towards the Ghiese. 

During Urban's occupation of Vaprio — Canonica, 
Garibaldi had been at Bergamo, hesitating to advance 
further without support, but learning on the 12th that 
Vaprio had been vacated, he pushed forward by Marti- 
nengo and Palazzolo, crossed the OgUo and, as has been 
already stated, entered Brescia on the morning of the 
13th. Next day, finding that the head of the Italian 
divisions in rear were in touch with him, he advanced 
to San Bufemia, where it was evident that he must, ere 
long, become engaged with Urban's troops. These 
were disposed as foUows : one brigade (Eckert, formerly 
Schaffgotsche) in Castenedolo with outposts towards 
Brescia, Gintowt's brigade more to the east on the 
Montechiaro road with the reserve artillery, with 
Rupprecht to the north watching CiUverghe and Rezzato. 

Late that night Garibaldi was ordered by the King 
to advance on the 15th towards Lonato and to repair 
the bridge at Bettoletto, for which operation he was 
promised the support of Sambuy's cavalry. Garibaldi 
prepared to carry out these instructions, but having 
learnt in the morning that Urban was in Castenedolo, 

N 



178 THE CAMPAIGN OF 

it was necessary to guard against any attack on the right 
flank. Counting on the speedy arrival of the promised 
cavalry, Garibaldi sent the whole of his 1st Regiment 
to contain Rupprecht, occupied Bettola and Ciliverghe 
with a battalion of the 2nd, and moved himself with 
the rest of his force towards Bettoletto. 

In the orders for the 15th which had been sent to 
Urban, he had been directed to stand fast at Castenedolo 
until 11 a.m., at which hour it was arranged that the 
1st Corps would cross the Chiese. Urban had made all 
his arrangements for withdrawal accordingly, but before 
he had marched off he was attacked by Garibaldi's 
troops. The skirmishers of the 1st Regiment of the 
Cacciatori delle Alpi came upon Rupprecht's advanced 
troops between 7.30 and 8 a.m. and drove them in, but 
reinforcements coming up the ItaUans in their turn 
were forced back to the hne of the railway. Fearing 
now that his retreat might be threatened from the 
direction of Cihverghe, Urban sent thither one battaUon, 
two guns and a squadron of cavalry, and these engaging 
the single battaUon of Garibaldi's 2nd Regiment threw 
it back in some disorder. 

In the meantime Cialdini had been hurried forward 
with the 4th ItaUan Division and reached San Eui emia 
just as the action came to a close. Urban wisely deciding, 
under all the circumstances, not to press the shght 
temporary advantage he had gained. He accordingly 
broke off the action about 3 p.m. and fell back upon 
Calcinate. Cialdini bivouacked at Rezzato and San 
Bufemia and Garibaldi about Bettoletto. 

Neither side experienced much loss in this affair, 
the Austrians having 12 killed, 89 wounded and 8 



MAGENTA AND SOLFERINO, 1859 179 

missing ; while the Italians lost 15 killed, 120 wounded 
and had 73 men taken prisoners. 

While the above action was in progress, the 1st Aus- 
trian Corps had reached Chiarini, but as the brigades 
were preparing to bivouac, a report arrived from Urban 
of the attack made upon him and of the consequent 
threatened turning of the Austrian right. Clam there- 
upon sent two of his brigades towards Calcinato and 
another to Vighizzolo, but finding Urban's retreat was 
unmolested these brigades returned to Chiarini. The 
Cavalry Division moved to Rho, the Vlllth Corps to 
Montechiaro, the Vth to Carpenedolo, the Ilird to 
Castel GofEredo, the Ilnd to San Cassiano, the IXth 
to Gazzoldo, and Army Headquarters to Castiglione 
delle Stiviere. 

After eleven days of retreat the Second Army was 
now established in an admirable position behind the 
Chiese, ready agaia to offer battle to the Allies. The 
deliberation, too, with which the retirement had been 
conducted, had allowed time for the Austrian military 
authorities to initiate, and to some extent to carry 
through, arrangements for increasing and reorganising 
the Austrian forces ; and the opportunity may perhaps 
here well be taken of describing, as briefly as possible, 
the general scheme of reorganisation, whereby it was 
hoped that success — which now for so many weeks 
had eluded the army — might yet be attracted to its 
banners. 

On May 26 an Imperial rescript had emanated from 
Vienna, directing the calling out of the First Army, 
and stating that the Emperor Franz Josef himself would 



i8o THE CAMPAIGN OF 

proceed to Italy and there assume tte command-in- 
chief of both armies, so soon as the First should be ready 
to take the field ; until then the force already in Italy, 
as well as aU details en route thither, were to remain as 
heretofore under Gyulai's command. Feldzeugmeister 
Count WimpfEen was placed at the head of the First 
Army, while the commands of the Third and Fourth 
Armies, intended for the defence of the Austrian fron- 
tiers, were confided respectively to Prince Liechtenstein 
and Count Schlick. On May 30 the Emperor hitnseK 
proceeded to Verona, accompanied by the Imperial 
Headquarters Staff, and while exercising a general 
supervision over the operations, for the actual conduct 
of which Gyulai was apparently still in the main re- 
sponsible, he occupied himseH principally in the perfect- 
ing of the arrangements for the increase and reorganisa- 
tion of the Austrian forces already in the field or 
approaching thereto. A statement of the composition of 
the different armies as newly organised will be found ia 
the appendices, but it may be convenient to state here 
that the First Army was to consist of the Ilnd, Ilird, 
IXth, Xth, and Xlth Corps and the Cavalry Division of 
General Zedtwitz, while the Second Army contained 
the 1st, Vth, Vllth, and Vlllth, with the Cavaby 
Division under Mensdorff. 

On June 16 the Emperor Franz Josef took over the 
command of the Second Army, so as to bring its move- 
ments into hne with those of the First Army, which 
had by this time arrived in the theatre of war. Gyulai's 
idea of making a stand on the Chiese was now no longer 
entertained and he received orders to move on this day 
towards the Mincio, in readiness to cross to the left 



MAGENTA AND SOLFERINO, 1859 181 

bank on the ITth and take up the positions which had 
been assigned to the corps under his command. 

To cover the retirement of the Second Army, Urban 
was directed to estabUsh himself on the 16th between 
Lonato and Castiglione, following the rear of the army, 
partly by Peschiera, partly by Volta and Valeggio. On 
the 18th it was intended that Urban's division should 
be broken up, Rupprecht's brigade going to strengthen 
the garrison of Verona, while the others were to be 
distributed among the various corps of the reconstituted 
armies. 

The following movements were to commence on the 
17th :— 

Second Army. 

The Vllth and Vlllth Corps to move between Pes- 
chiera and Valeggio and to be jointly responsible 
for that portion of the line of the Mincio. 

The 1st Corps to Somma compagna to form a reserve. 

The Ilnd Corps to march to Mantua there to be 
incorporated in the First Army. 

The Ilird Corps to Quaderni and to watch the line 
of the river from Valeggio to Pozzolo. 

The Vth Corps to Villafranca to form a reserve. 

The IXth Corps to march to Mozzecane and join the 
First Army, linking on to the outpost line of the 
Ilird and carrjring it on to just above Goito. 

The Headquarters of the Second Army to move to 
Custoza. 

First Army. 
The Xlth Corps to march from Mantua to Tormene 



i82 THE CAMPAIGN OF 

and establish outposts about Goito — ^joining those 
of the IXth Corps. The Cavaby Division of Zedt- 
witz to move to about San Zenone. The Head- 
quarters of the First Army to Mozzecane. 
Garrisons for Mantua and Legnago were to be found 
by the Ilnd Corps, while the 1st provided those of 
Peschiera and Verona. 

In accordance with the foregoing, Gyulai directed 
that on the 16th the Vllth Corps should march to 
Desen^ano, theVIIIth Corps and the Cavalry Division 
to Guidizzolo, the 1st to Peschiera, the Ilird to Goito, 
and the Vth to Volta, while Urban moved to Lonato 
and CastigUone. 

From reports which had reached Gyulai on the night 
of the 15th, it appeared that the Allies were standing 
fast in front, while an outflanking movement on a large 
scale was in course of execution, and that it was in- 
tended to move large forces by Lake Garda to operate 
on the north of the Mincio position. The Imperial 
Headquarters thereupon decided that the retreat of 
the Second Army — ^then already commenced — should 
be countermanded and that Gyulai should reoccupy 
the Lonato — Castiglione position with a view to striking 
a decisive blow at the Allies before the Vth Corps, under 
Prince Napoleon, could join them from the south. 

In accordance with this determination the VTIth 
Corps was ordered to move to Lonato extending its 
right to the lake, the Vlllth Corps to Castighone, the 
1st to Castel Venzago as a reserve (with the Cavalry 
Division at Guidizzolo) to the Vllth and Vlllth Corps. 
Urban was to join the Vlllth Corps, and Gyulai's 
Headquarters was to be at Pozzolengo. These 



MAGENTA AND SOLFERINO, 1859 183 

positions were to be maintained during the 17th' 
and the 1st Corps and Urban's troops were to be 
hurled against the enemy's flank ; in the event of the 
AlUes being driven back to the Chiese, the crossings at 
Ponte San Marco and at Montechiaro were to be once 
more held. Should the positions of the Vllth and 
Vlllth Corps be attacked in force, the Ilird Corps 
from Goito and the Vth from Volta were to be used, as 
seemed best, either to strike at the enemy's flank or to 
strengthen the Lonato — -Castighone position. 

The Vlth Corps, then in Tyrol, was to endeavour to 
threaten the enemy's flank from the Upper Chiese 
valley, moving by Storo on Vestone and Salo ; the Com- 
mander was advised that the army would probably 
move forward towards Brescia on the 21st, and he 
was particularly enjoined to concentrate in as great 
strength as possible about Vestone on the 20th. 

These counter-orders were evidently quite unexpected, 
and some of the units of the Second Army had already 
covered some considerable distance in their retreat to 
the Mincio before the fresh orders overtook them. It 
was then impossible for the directions to be complied 
with in fuU that day, and it was not untU the 17th 
that Gyulai was able to report that the Lonato — Casti- 
glione position had been reoccupied as directed. 

On this day the First Army was in position behind 
the Mincio — ^the IXth Corps between Roverbella and 
Belvidere, the Ilnd in and south of Mantua, the Xth to 
the east of Mantua, the Xlth in reserve about Tormene ; 
the Cavalry Division was on its way to Verona, and 
Army Headquarters was at Mozzecane. 

The Commander of the Vllth Corps now asked for 



i84 THE CAMPAIGN OF 

another division to strengthen his right, and Urban was 
ordered to move on the 18th to Desen^ano, pushing 
one brigade to Padenghe and stationing another on the 
northern side of Desenzano. Gjulai partictilarly asked 
sanction to concentrate his troops for the purpose of 
more effectual support, pointing out that Lonato — the 
key of the position — was held by the Vllth Corps, 
which had recently, from various causes, been greatly 
reduced in numbers, and that the distance at which 
the 1st Corps was posted efiectually prevented anything 
like timely support. To this a reply was given that 
there was no intention of really holding the position, 
which would only be maintained so long as the enemy 
made no serious attack upon it. Gyulai was also in- 
formed that the army would probably be withdrawn 
behind the Mincio on the 20th, and the orders issued 
to the Vlth Corps in Tyrol were now cancelled. 

On this day, the 18th, Urban's division, now com- 
manded byRupprecht, made the moves ordered on the 
previous day, while the other units of the Second 
Aimy remained halted. Early in the afternoon, however, 
orders were issued that the withdrawal of the Second 
Army behind the Mincio was to be so carried out that 
all the units should have crossed and reached their 
allotted positions by midday on the 21st, the Ilird 
Corps to Pozzolo, the Vth to Valeggio, the Vlllth to 
Prentina and Salionze, the 1st, YTIth, and Cavalry to 
Quademi, Mozzecane and Malvicina in reserve. 

On the 18th Count Gyulai tendered the resignation of 
his command and his place was filled by Count Schlick, 
lately commanding the Fourth Army. 

On the 20th and 21st the retreat was resumed ; a 



MAGENTA AND SOLFERINO, 1859 185 

large number of crossings had been prepared over the 
Mincio, viz, : — 

Two bridges at Pescbiera ; 
One bridge „ Salionze ; 
One ,, „ Monzambano ; 

One „ „ Valeggio ; 

One „ „ Pozzolo ; 

Three bridges „ Goito ; 

and by the latter date both armies were in position on 
the left bank from Peschiera to Mantua, having, to all 
appearance, no other intention than to dispute with the 
enemy the passage of the river 

The Xth Corps, drawn well back behind the left, 
covered that flank from any attack from the right bank 
of the Po. 

In the meantime the Allies had resumed their measured 
advance after the action at Castenedolo ; on the 16th 
the 1st, Ilnd, and Ilird Corps, with part of the Guard, 
crossed the Oglio, when the most advanced points occu- 
pied by the French were Chiari, Castrezzato, Comezzano 
and Orzinovi. The rest of the army was on or behind 
the OgUo. The Emperor was at Calcio, while the King 
was at Castegnate with his divisions in and about 
Brescia. On the 17th the Italians advanced in two 
columns, the 1st and 2nd Divisions by the Castenedolo 
road, the 3rd and 4th towards Eezzato. The French 
arrived on the MeUa'and pushed Desvaux's cavahy on to 
Bagnolo and Montirone, and the next day the Emperor 
reached the right bank of the Chiese ; the marching was 
slow but the heat was extreme. The French were now 



i86 THE CAMPAIGN OF 



disposed in order of battle : Baraguey d' Hilliers was 
on the left moving on Lonato and Castiglione, Mac- 
Mahon in the centre at San Zeno and Borgo SatoUo, 
and Niel on the right at Bagnolo ; in the rear was the 
Guard at Brescia with Canrobert at Poncarale. 

The army halted on the 19th and 20th, and received 
a cavalry reinforcement in the shape of a brigade of 
cavalry of the Guard under General Morris. 

Reconnaissances sent out on the 19th found that Mon- 
techiaro was occupied, but on the morrow it became 
known that the position had been completely abandoned. 
Moving forward again on the 21st the IVth Corps 
crossed the Chiese at Mezzane and occupied Carpene- 
dolo with the flanks covered by the cavahy under Par- 
touneaux and Desvaux ; the Ilird Corps closed up in 
rear of the IVth, remaining, however, on the right bank ; 
while the Ilnd Corps occupied Montechiaro, with the 
1st behind the river at Rho. Of the Piedmontese one 
division (3rd) was at Desenzano, with the 1st and 5th 
in support at Lonato. Victor Emmanuel held his 
2nd Division in reserve with his Headquarters at Cal- 
cinate, while the Imperial Headquarters was with the 
Guard at Castenedolo. On the 22nd MacMahon again 
moved on, occupying CastigHone, while the Guard 
crossed to Montechiaro. 

No forward movement was made on the 23rd, but 
reconnaissances were sent out to cover thoroughly the 
whole country between the Chiese and the Mincio ; 
while from the hiUs about Castiglione the brothers 
Goddard repeated a balloon ascent which they had 
made two days before from Castenedolo. From aU 
available sources of information it seemed clear that there 



MAGENTA AND SOLFERINO, 1859 187 

was considerable movement among the Austrians ; 
that SoKerino, Cavriana, Guidizzolo and Medole were 
occupied, and that heavy columns were about Goito 
and Pozzolengo. To the Emperor all this seemed 
merely to prove that the Austrians — anxious to dis- 
cover the points where the passage of the Mincio was 
likely to be attempted — ^were supporting, in consider- 
able strength, the troops which they had thrown forward 
to gain information ; and the Emperor Napoleon can 
hardly be blamed if it failed to occur to him that the 
Austrians— having evacuated the strong positions on 
the Chiese and permitted their occupation by the Allies 
— should now be about to offer battle with the Mincio 
at their backs and in a position far inferior to that which 
they had voluntarily given up. 

It was, however, the unexpected which was about to 
happen, and which was to result in the greatest battle, 
in point of numbers, which had, up to then, been fought 
since Leipzic. 

Moltke has discussed the question whether Piacenza 
shoidd have been evacuated, or whether, as some have 
held, it should have been made use of as a strong flank 
position, whence Lombardy might have been successfully 
defended. A retreat behind the Po would have put an 
end to all pursuit, while the Xth and Xlth Corps might 
have joined the armj^ by way of Mantua and Borgoforte. 
Had the AUies then still held on there way to the Mincio, 
the Austrians could have moved on their right flank 
from or below Piacenza, or could even have returned to 
the right bank of the Ticino and cut the communica- 
tions in rear of the French and Italian armies. Against 



i88 THE CAMPAIGN OF '59 



all this must be said that, since the Austrians were 
not pursued, they were in no immediate need of the pro- 
tection of the fortress, and that flank movements when 
executed from beyond a certain distance lose much of 
their value. A position on the flank behind the canal 
must have checked the march of the Allies on Milan ; 
whereas one behind the Po would have had no effect 
on their onward movement. By holding fast at Pia- 
cenza, the Austrians were not drawing nearer to their 
reinforcements, while they were allowing the enemy 
time to strengthen his hold on Lombardy. Moltke 
considers that the evacuation of Piacenza was justified, 
since its fortifications were not sufficiently completed 
for it to stand alone ; but none the less a bad impression 
was made by its enforced abandonment. 

There is very much to be said in favour of a stand on 
the Chiese, as Gyulai had intended. The left bank 
everjrwhere commanded the right, the northern flank 
of the position could not be turned, while if the left 
flank were attempted, there was there admirable ground 
for the employment of the Austrian cavalry in support 
of the main army attacking across the river. At the 
worst the fortresses of the Quadrilateral were only one 
day's march in rear, and if the hilly country behind 
the Chiese increased the difficulties of retreat, it added, 
at least in equal measure, to those attending an advance. 



THE BATTLE OF SOLPEEINO 



CHAPTER IX 



THE BATTLE OP SOLPEEINO 



In order to discover something definite about the dis- 
positions of the Franco-Italian Army, and also to regain 
touch, which had been temporarily relaxed, the Com- 
mander of the Second Army sent out on the night of 
the 21st a strong patrol, consisting of two squadrons 
of cavalry and two horse-artillery guns, under Major 
von Appel of the 12th Uhlans. This patrol was ordered 
to cross the Mincio at Monzambano and make for Poz- 
zolengo, move next day by Rivoltella to Lonato, and 
return by way of Castighone, Guidizzolo and Volta 
toValeggio. Major von Appel was not, however, able 
completely to fulfil all that had been confided to him ; 
he came everywhere upon the enemy in considerable 
force, and was never able to pierce the screen behind 
which their main strength was concealed. But from 
the reports which this officer sent in during his tour, 
rather than perhaps from the general conclusions to be 
drawn from his expedition as a whole, the Imperial 
Headquarter Staff came to the conclusion that only 
fart of the Alhed Army was on the left bank of the Chiese 
— viz. the Italians to the north in the neighbour|iood of 
the Lake of Garda by Desen2iano and Lonato, and some 



192 THE CAMPAIGN OF 

of the Frencli troops in the hilly country about Esenta, 
Castiglione and Carpenedolo. 

With the retirement of the Austrians behind the 
Mincio, the Emperor Franz Josef and his military advisers 
had apparently by no means reUnquished aU idea of a 
return to the offensive ; the numerous bridges which 
had been constructed, or which were already in existence, 
over the river had all been retained ; many commanding 
positions on the right bank had been occupied and 
entrenched, and from these and other signs and prepara- 
tions, it seems tolerably clear that the Austrians were 
only awaiting an opportunity, following upon the con- 
centration of their armies, once again to endeavour to 
fall upon and overwhelm the enemy. The whole force 
under the Emperor Franz Josef was now indeed strength- 
ened and recuperated, and its concentration efEected, 
and it was resolved to assume the offensive while the 
enemy was engaged in the passage of the Chiese, and 
before the 60,000 men — said to be threading the passes 
of the Apennines — could strike at the lower reaches of 
the Po and turn the Austrian left flank. Late then on 
the 22nd, after the return of the Emperor to Villafranca 
from an inspection of the position of the 1st Corps at 
Quaderni, orders were sent out directing the advance of 
the armies across the Mincio on the 24th. Before, 
however, these orders had much more than started on 
their way to the corps concerned, the date of the intended 
movement was changed, in the hope of falling upon the 
Allies before their passage of the Chiese had been com- 
pleted. 

The Army Order detailing the proposed movement 
is too long to quote verbatim, but the following comprises 



MAGENTA AND SOLFERINO, 1859 193 

its main points : " The Imperial Army will resume 
the offensive on the 24th, and the operations, wherein 
both armies will be engaged, will consist in — (1) Crossing 
the Mincio ; (2) the overthrow of the enemy in the 
immediate neighbourhood; (3) the advance to the 
Chiese ; (4) the preliminaries to an action on the Chiese 
should the enemy there concentrate. 

" Movements of the Second Army. 

" The VTIIth Corps wiU cross at SaHonze, being pre- 
viously joined in Peschiera by a brigade of the Vlth 
Corps (Major-General Reichlin-Meldegg ^), and wiU 
move on Pozzolengo. 

" The Vth Corps will cross at Valeggio and move on 
Solferino. 

" The 1st Corps wiU cross at Valeggio in rear of the 
Vth, and will move on Volta and Cavriana. 

" Mensdorff's Cavalry Division, and in its rear the 
Vllth Corps, wiU cross at Ferri after the Ilird Corps, 
and will move, the Cavalry to the east of Cavriana, 
the Vllth Corps to Foresto. 

" Movements of the First Army. 

" This army, as the left flank, will at first remain 
refused and will protect Goito from any possible attack. 
As soon as the movement of the Second Army has 
developed, the Ilird Corps will cross at Ferri, moving on 
Guidizzolo. 

" The IXth Corps will cross at Goito and also move 
on Guidizzolo. 

" In rear of the IXth Corps will cross Zedtwitz's 
Cavalry Division and then the Xlth Corps, which will 

^ This brigade actually joined during the night of the 
22nd-23rd. 



194 THE CAMPAIGN OF 

move to tlie west of Cereta. The Cavalry Division will 
protect the left flank towards Medole with detachments 
pushed forward to Casaloldo and Castel GofEredo. 

" The Ilnd Corps will detach two brigades to the IXth 
Corps and these will move to Marcaria to protect the 
left. 

" The passage of the river to begin at 9 a.m. with 
the Second Army, and at 10 a.m. with the First. 

" In the event of a reverse both armies will retire in 
the same manner and reoccupy their original positions 
behind the Mincio. 

" On the 24th the Imperial Headquarters will be at 
Valeggio. 

" Movements for the 25th : Second Army. 

" The Vlllth Corps and Reichhn's brigade to Lonato 
and Desenzano. 

" The Vth Corps to Esenta. 

" The 1st Corps to Castiglione delle Stiviere. 

" The Vllth Corps to Le Fontane. 

" Mensdorff's Cavalry Division, supported by the Vth 
Corps to Montechiaro. 

"First Army. 

" The IXth Corps to between Carpenedolo and Acqua 
Fredda. 

" The IlIrd and Xlth Corps to Carpenedolo and San 
Vigilio. 

" Zedtwitz's Cavahy Division to Acqua Fredda and 
Casalmoro. 

" Of the two brigades of the Ilnd Corps one to move 
to Acquanegra and one to Asola. 

" Movements to commence at 9 a.m. Imperial Head- 
quarters at Guidizzolo." 



MAGENTA AND SOLFERINO, 1859 ^95 

Then follows the after-order, directing that the cross- 
ing on the 24th be now carried out on the 23rd, and 
that the forward movement detailed for the 25th should 
now be commenced on the 24th. 

The Officer Commanding the Vlth Corps in Tyrol was 
also enjoined to conform to the movements above 
indicated by marching towards Salo and Gavardo, and 
the Commandant of Mantua was ordered to prepare 
a bridge and bridge-head at Borgoforte. From a con- 
sideration of aU the above, one is led to the conclusion 
that the offensive was resumed on the presumption that 
on June 23, at least a considerable portion of the AUied 
Army had yet to cross +he Chiese, and that what had 
already passed over was Uttle more than strong advanced 
guards. The Austrian main stroke then was to be 
directed upon CastigHone and the three passages of the 
Chiese at Ponte San Marco, Montechiaro, and Carpene- 
dolo ; for this purpose two corps (Vth and 1st) were to 
advance on SoKerino and Cavriana along the Castiglione 
road ; two other corps (IXth and Ilird) with the same 
objective to Guidizzolo ; Mensdorff was to maintain 
connexion between the two armies ; two corps (Vllth 
and Xlth) were to be held in reserve at Foresto and 
Cereta ; while the flanks were to be covered by the 
Vlllth Corps at Pozzolengo and by Zedtwitz and part 
of the Ilnd Corps between Medole and Marcaria. 

By the evening of the 23rd the passage of the Mincio 
and the onward march of the Austrian corps to their 
destinations were completed in accordance with the 
orders which had been issued. 

On this date the Austrians were able to count upon 
the following numbers ; — 



196 THE CAMPAIGN OF 

With tlie Second Aimy : the 1st (including Reichlin's 
brigade), Vth, Vllth and Vlllth Corps and Mensdorffs 
Cavahy Division numbered 102 battahons, 36 squadrons 
and 49 batteries — a total of 86,273 men, 11,023 horses 
and 392 guns. 

With the First Army : the Ilnd, Ilird, IXth, Xth, 
and Xlth Corps and Zedtwitz's Cavalry Division com- 
prised 121J battalions, 52 squadrons and 45 batteries — 
a total of 103,375 men, 11,608 horses and 360 guns, or 
a grand total for both armies of 189,648 men, 22,631 
horses and 752 guns. 

The Alhes acknowledge to the following numbers : — 

With the French — including the Vth Corps but ex- 
clusive of some 8,900 cavalry and infantry with General 
Ulloa — there were 198 battahons, 80 squadrons and 432 
guns, or 118,019 men and 10,206 horses. 

With the Italians there were 96 battahons, 37 squad- 
rons and 90 guns or 55,584 men and 4,147 horses, making 
a grand total of 173,603 men, 14,353 horses and 522 guns. 

It is now necessary to give some description of the 
ground over which this great battle was about to be 
fought. " The Mincio, issuing from the Lago di Garda, 
runs due south, while the direction of the hills on both 
banks runs at right angles almost towards it ; those on 
the right bank, with which alone we have to do here, 
coming down from the north and north-west, strike 
the Mincio in a south-easterly direction. The hilly 
country on the right bank of the Mincio, thus forms 
a tolerably regular parallelogram from north-west 
to south-east, the four angles of which are Loiiato, 
Peschiera, Volta and CastigUone. This parallelogram of 



MAGENTA AND SOLFERINO, 1859 197 

hills is about twelve miles in length and eight in width, 
and is divided longitudinally by the Redone, a little 
stream coming out of the hills between Lonato and 
CastigKone and running into the Mincio. 

" The lulls rise gradually from the shores of the lake in 
successive irregular wave lines, the last towards the plain 
towering high above the rest, and forming, as it were, 
a mighty wall roimd the west and south sides of the paral- 
lelogram. The south side, above all, is remarkable 
for its height and steepness all along its length from 
CastigKone to Volta. Being formed of a succession of 
long steep ridges, strongly indentated, it looks from the 
plain like the ruins of some Titanic stronghold, destroyed 
by time and overgrown with grass. Two points, higher 
than the rest, stand in the centre of this Une of ridges. 
These two points are SoHerino and Cavriana. Both 
detached from the others, and sloping down precipi- 
tously towards the plain, they resemble two bastions, 
while the lower, but scarcely less precipitous, slopes of 
San Cassiano between them may well represent the 
curtain of these gigantic bastions. 

" From the interior another range of hills runs down 
towards the outer one. It skirts the north or left bank 
of the little stream Redone, and comes down with it 
from the neighbourhood of Lonato, in an almost south- 
erly direction, to within a mile from the heights of Sol- 
ferino. It there makes a sudden bend to the north- 
east, runs on for a couple of miles in this direction, and 
then breaks off. At the point where it breaks off Ues 
Pozzolengo, and at the point where the ridge approaches 
nearest to Solferino, stands in an isolated position the 
church of Madonna della Scoperta. SoKerino and 



igS THE CAMPAIGN OF 

Cavrianaonthe outer ridge and Pozzolengo and Madonna 
della Scoperta on the inner, mark the position of the 
Austrians in the Mincio hills. The relative positions 
of these four points is such that if a line were drawn 
round them, it would give the figure of a truncated cone ; 
Cavriana and Pozzolengo forming the base of it towards 
the Mincio, and Solferino and Madonna della Scoperta 
the top towards Castiglione and Lonato. With the 
exception of the road near the lake to Peschiera, the 
others leading through this hilly country to the Mincio 
all touch one or more of these points ; consequently 
their possession shuts the hills of the Mincio to an advanc- 
ing army. 

" While they thus in their ensemble give the command 
of the Mincio hills, each of these four points forms the 
centre of a group of ridges branching out from that 
centre. The position of the Austrians in the hills must 
thus be represented as a colossal natural redoubt with 
four bastions, each of them with numerous outworks 
and only assailable at the angles. 

" From whichever side the traveller approaches the 
Mincio hills, one of the first objects which will attract 
his attention is a square, weather-beaten tower on a 
high conical hill covered with green turf. It is the 
Spia d' Italia, so called because from it the eye can pry 
over a large part of the Lombard plain, over the shores 
of the Lago di Garda, and over the Mincio far beyond 
the spires and domes of Mantua. The hill on which 
it is built, called the Bocca di Solferino, rises abruptly 
to the north-west of the village to which it has given 
its name. After attaining two-thirds of its height, it 
throws out two spurs like two horns, one to its left — 



MAGENTA AND SOLFERINO, 1859 199 

sharp, narrow, precipitous, showing a bold outhne 
towards the plain and falling off suddenly. It is called 
Monte di Cipressi, from a row of these trees which crown 
its summit conspicuous from afar. The other to the 
right, having no particular name, but commonly called 
Monte della Chiesa with the church of St. Nicholas on 
the top. Stretching out in the direction of Castiglione, 
it rises abruptly from the valley of the Eedone, and 
throws out towards this river a lower, but equally abrupt, 
branch similarly crowned with a church — that of San 
Pietro. On the other side — that is towards the plain — 
it slopes down more gradually towards the Monte di 
Cipressi. In the hollow between the two Kes the httle 
hamlet of Pozzo di Solferino, as the villagers call 
it. The spurs, although forming part of the group 
of the Bocca, are separated by a depression in the 
ground from the Bocca itself, and this depression has 
been used to lead the roads from Castiglione over the 
group to the village of Solferino behind it. There are 
two of these roads — one which runs along the plain at 
the base of the lulls and, leaving the village of Grole to 
its left, turns up between the Monte di Cipressi and the 
Monte della Chiesa to the hamlet of Pozzo di SoUerino, 
and crosses the ridge between the Bocca di SoHerino 
and the Monte della Chiesa ; the other, leaving CastigUone 
and the outer ridge to its right, winds along the hills 
almost parallel to the former, and risiag in a steep 
incKne between Monte della Chiesa and the smaller 
spurs of San Pietro, tops the ridge at the same point as 
the road through the plain. Both roads united there 
run down to the village of Solferino. Just where the 
two unite, rise the walls of the church of St. Nicholas, 



200 THE CAMPAIGN ;0F " " !■ 

occupying the whole summit of the Bocca. These walls, 
about 20 to 30 feet high, enclose, besides the church, 
a belfry, the schools and the dwelling of the parish priest, 
which occupy three sides. In front of the church is a 
large open plot of ground, and to the right of it the hiU, 
protected only by a low waU, descends abruptly towards 
the hill road which runs up to its foot. Beyond the 
walls of St. Nicholas the summit of the Bocca presents 
a narrow green plateau with another much whiter 
looking enclosure at its edge ; this is the cemetery of 
SolEerino. Beyond the cemetery, but separated from 
it by a depression ia the ground, begin the scale or ladders 
of SoKerino, a succession of steep, precipitous ridges 
between the plain and the valley of the Redone, which 
extend as far as the Httle village of Grole. 

" The hill group of Solferino forms then a succession 
of formidable positions, easy to defend and very diffi- 
cult to approach. In the two roads are deep and narrow 
defiles, flanked by the spurs between which they run 
up to the top of the ridge. By the ridge itself the 
advance is scarcely less dangerous, for each ridge is 
commanded by the following one. Besides this, each 
is likewise separated from the other by a strong depres- 
sion in the ground, forming, as it were, the ditch to each 
of these successive positions. 

" While the position of SoKerino is thus well pro- 
tected in front and on the flanks, it is not less so in the 
rear ; for, from the foot almost of the Bocca hill, rises 
another ridge sloping down terrace-like towards the 
scattered houses of the village of San Cassiano in the 
plain. Between this ridge and the base of the Bocca 
hUl, the road from San Cassiano to the village of Solferino 



MAGENTA AND SOLFERINO, 1859 201 

runs up. While the slopes of San Cassiano are held, 
it is, therefore, like the roads in front, a defile. The 
ridge of San Cassiano extends, in an almost uninterrupted 
line, to Cavriana, the sister group of Solferino, which 
had been chosen by the Austrians for their re- 
serves. 

" Of a similar conformation as Solferino, the slopes 
of San Cassiano are to it what the scale are to Solferino 
— a kind of natural outwork. Both look down on what is 
called the Campo di Medole, an open plain devoid of trees, 
through which the main road from CastigUone passes 
to Goito. This road, coming out of Castiglione to the 
left of the Mincio hills, runs for about half a mile through 
a country Hke the rest of Upper Lombardy, covered 
with vineyards and mulberry trees, but less cut up by 
canals than other portions of it. There being a scanti- 
ness of water, the vegetation is not very rich and the 
ground more open and adapted to military movements. 
After running through this country for a mUe and a 
half, the road enters the Campo di Medole just at the 
point where a cross road, intersecting the plain, runs 
in a straight Une to Medole. The main road continues 
for about two and a haK miles in this open plain until 
it comes to the outskirts of the village of Guidizzolo, 
where the trees begin again. The open plain is scantily 
cultivated with only here and there a corn or a maize 
field and the rest bad pasture ground. About a mile 
from the southern outskirts of the Campo di Medole 
runs the road from Medole to Guidizzolo, and, parallel 
almost to the main road to Goito, another from Car- 
penedolo by Medole to Ceresara in the direction of 
Mantua." 



202 THE CAMPAIGN OF 

In the orders given out overnight for the onward 
movements of the two armies on the 24th, Count Schlick 
had directed that the Vlllth Corps should move off 
at 8 a.m., the others at 9, while Wimpffen ordered his 
Ilird and IXth Corps to march at 9, the cavalry at 10, 
and the others to conform to these movements 

The Emperor Napoleon, on the other hand, in issuing 
his orders for the same day had directed that the 
following movements should commence not later than 
3 a.m. : — 

The 1st Corps from Esenta to Solferino. 

The Ilnd Corps from Castighone to Cavriana. 

The Ilird Corps from Mezzane to Medole. 

The IVth Corps with the cavalry of Partouneaux and 
Desvaux — from Carpenedolo to Guidizzolo. 

The Imperial Guard, with Headquarters, to Castighone. 

The Itahan Army to move on to Pozzolengo, main- 
taining touch with the 1st Corps by means of the 2nd 
Division (Fanti), which had bivouacked north of Esenta. 
The Austrians then on June 24 were to leave the line 
Pozzolengo — SoHerino — Guidizzolo and gain the line 
Lonato — Castighone — Carpenedolo ; while the Allies 
were on the same date to abandon the positions 
Lonato — Castighone — Carpenedolo and move forward 
to the hue Pozzolengo — SoKerino — Guidizzolo. The 
result of such movements, executed the same day and 
on the same lines, could only be a general action, 
wherein the advantage must he with that side which 
had taken the initiative. The Alhes started from 
five to six hours earlier than their adversaries, 
and the latter were consequently taken greatly by 
surprise. 



MAGENTA AND SOLFERINO, 1859 203 

The events now about to be described may most 
conveniently be divided into three parts : — 

1. The operations between Solferino and the lake of 
Garda — between the Piedmontese on the one side and 
the Vlllth and part of the Vth Austrian Corps on 
the other, viz. the operations in the north. 

2. Those against Solferino and Cavxiana — the 1st 
and Ilnd French Corps and the Imperial Guard being 
pitted against the Vth, Vllth and 1st Austrian Corps, 
viz. the operations in the centre. 

3. The battle in the plain, wherein Niel and Caniobert 
fought against the Ilird, IXth, and Xlth Corps of the 
first Austrian Army, viz. the operations in the south. 

The action commenced to the south ; the IVth French 
Corps, on the right of the Allied Army, left its bivouac 
at 3 a.m., and its three divisions — de Luzy leading — 
took the road from Carpenedolo to Medole. De Luzy's 
front was covered by two squadrons of the 10th Chas- 
seurs a Cheval, and these came upon some of the enemy's 
light cavalry rather more than two miles from Medole 
and drove them in, but their own further advance was 
arrested by the fire of the Austrians who had occupied 
the village with both infantry and artillery. Niel now 
ordered de Luzy to advance his division and carry 
Medole. 

This important post had been occupied on the pre- 
vious evening by two battalions of the Austrian 52nd 
Regiment, two guns and a few hussars belonging to 
Blumencron's brigade of Crenneville's division of the 
IXth Corps. SchafEgotsche had given orders for the 
march to be continued at 9 a.m. on the 24th, but as 



204 THE CAMPAIGN OF 

early as 5 tliat morning Crenneville reported that his 
outposts at Morino, to the north-east of Medole, had 
been attacked. Schaffgotsche then prepared to advance 
at once on Medole, but almost immediately the report 
was contradicted, and the Corps Commander, reluctant 
to move before his men had had their morning meal, 
decided to stand fast. At six o'clock, however, a report 
was received direct from the front stating that fighting 
had already for some considerable time been in progress 
at Medole and that the Austrians had been driven from 
the village. The defenders of Medole had offered for 
something like three hours a very stubborn resistance 
to greatly superior numbers, attacking on two sides 
and supported by a powerful artillery. As soon as the 
attack developed. Major Urs, who commanded in Medole, 
sent word to his brigadier, Blumencron, then in camp 
to the west of Guidizzolo, but that commander, being 
himself unable to detect the sound of firing, decided to 
take no action whatever and did not even forward a 
report to his divisional chief. Driven at last from his 
defences on the west of the village, Urs defended Medole 
house by house, and when finally forced to fall back upon 
the remainder of the brigade, he was able only to bring 
off the equivalent of two companies with two officers 
— nine-tenths of the latter and four-fifths of the men 
being either lolled, wounded or prisoners. 

Lauingen's cavalry brigade had been formed up in 
rear of Medole — on the Ceresara side — ^to cover and 
support the retirement of the infantry, but Lauingen 
withdrew fixst half-way to Ceresara and, then, consider- 
ing that the ground here was unsuitable for the move- 
ments of cavalry, he fell back behind Ceresara ; finally 



MAGENTA AND SOLFERINO, 1859 205 

retiring altogether and arriving at Goito about 9 a.m., 
and taking thenceforth no part or interest in the action. 
His divisional general, Zedtwitz, himself rode off in search 
of him, and the result of the action of these two cavalry 
commanders was the practical loss of the services of the 
mounted troops on the Austrian left flank for the rest 
of the day. 

While the IVth Corps had been thus engaged at Medole 
the Ilird Corps, imder Caniobert, starting at 2.30 a.m., 
crossed the Chiese opposite Visano and moved on Medole 
by Acqua Fredda and Castel Goffredo. This latter 
place was reached about 7, and being occupied only by 
a few mounted men was captured without difficulty, 
and Canrobert, now hearing the guns in action at Medole, 
ordered Eenault's division to push on in that direction. 

Part of Blimiencron's brigade had also been in occu- 
pation of Casa Morino, and MacMahon, advancing early 
towards Cavriana from CastigUone, came upon this 
post and drove out its defenders ; but seeing now that 
the 1st Corps on his left had been checked in its advance, 
MacMahon decided to content himself with holding 
his position for the present, in view of the large hostile 
columns now visible in the plain to his front. He sug- 
gested now to Mel that they should both take ground 
to their left — MacMahon for the purpose of drawing 
nearer to the 1st Corps and Niel to prevent any gap 
occurring between the Ilnd and IVth. Niel, then engaged 
in front of Medole, promised to conform as soon as the 
village should be captured and Canrobert had drawn 
up to him on the right. As a temporary measure, how- 
ever, the cavalry under Partouneaux and Desvaux 



2o6 THE CAMPAIGN OF 

was ordered to occupy the interval between Mel and 
MacMalion. MaoMahon then disposed his troops as 
follows : one of the brigades of the division of La Mot- 
terouge, deployed at right angles to the road, main- 
tained touch between the Ilnd Corps and Desvaux's 
cavalry, while the other remained in reserve behind the 
Casa Morino ; Decaen's division formed to the left of 
La Motterouge in the direction of the 1st Corps. 

The hostUe columns noticed by the Duke of Magenta 
were the divisions of the IXth, Iltd, and 1st Corps 
advancing westwards. SchafEgotsche, however, seems 
even now to have been ia ignorance of the fact that 
two complete French Corps were in his front, and stUl 
thought that Medole had been occupied by httle more 
than the enemy's advanced troops, and that its recapture 
would scarcely delay the carrying out of the prescribed 
movement on Carpenedolo. The Coromander of the 
IXth Corps directed his 2nd Division (Crenneville) to 
march on Medole from its position to the east of Casa 
Morino, and of the three brigades of his 1st Division 
(Handl) he placed one on the Rebecco-Medole road, 
one stiU further south towards Ceresara, and the third 
in reserve, and arranged with Schwartzenberg that the 
IIL-d Corps should move on CastigHone by way of Casa 
Moriao. The coimtry about here, however, being much 
broken and enclosed, the various brigades failed to keep 
touch, wandered apart and came iadependently into 
action. Crenneville moving on Medole was threatened 
on his right, was fired iato on the left by Vinoy's 
division of the IVth Corps — which had been pushed 
well forward in the cultivation — and was imable to 
make any concerted attack. 



MAGENTA AND SOLFERINO, 1859 207 

Handl's brigades — widely separated at the outset — 
became more so as the advance was prosecuted and 
arrived independently before Medole, where the French 
had made careful preparations for their reception. At 
9 a.m. the situation in this part of the field was as follows : 
what was left of Crenneville's two brigades stood on the 
main Mantua-CastigHone road and held a farm to the 
south of it and immediately north of Baite, confronting 
Vinoy's division of the IVth and the whole of the Ilnd 
Corps ; at Rebecco one of Handl's brigades was engaged 
with one of de Luzy's, while further south another was 
held in check byLe Noble, and Handl's third brigade, 
which had already suffered greatly in the action, had 
fallen back shattered to Guidizzolo. On the side of the 
French, de Failly's division of the IVth Corps sup- 
ported, de Luzy towards Eebecco and Baite. 

The head of Canrobert's columns reached Medole 
shortly after nine o'clock, when the Commander was 
warned by Napoleon that an Austrian corps, of an 
estimated strength of 20-25,000 men, which had left 
Mantua on the 23rd, had its outposts at Acquanegra, 
but at the same time Canrobert was ordered to support 
Niel's right. Canrobert now pushed forward Jannin's 
brigade towards Ceresara. 

In the centre Baraguey d'HiUiers had been ordered 
to march on the left of the Ilnd Corps from Esenta to 
Solferino. His 2nd Division (Ladmirault) started the 
first at 3 o'clock and by 6 a.m. had arrived in front 
of the heights about Solferino, which were found to be 
held by the enemy. Ladmirault formed his division 
in three columns of attack — ^two to turn the flanlis and 



2o8 THE CAMPAIGN OF 

the third to assault in front — and covered by the fire 
of the only four guns which had been able to traverse 
the mountain road followed by Ladmirault's infantry, 
the 2nd Division prepared to attack the commanding 
position held by the Austrian Vth Corps. 

The 1st Division (Forey) had left Esenta about 4 a.m., 
passed through Castighone, and followed the road by 
Le Grole, while Bazaine, with the 3rd Division, marched 
in rear of Forey. 

When on the afternoon of the 23rd the Vth Austrian 
Corps had occupied Solferino with outposts on the hills 
to the west, the picquets furnished by Bils' brigade 
reported the presence of large bodies of the enemy in 
their front, and Stadion was satisfied that a general 
action must take place on the morrow, and he therefore 
fortified his positions as far as possible. These picquets 
at once noted and reported the French advance against 
Medole early on the 24th, as also the movements of the 
1st French Corps against Stadion's position ; but the 
Austrian outposts were none the less driven in by the 
French, and feU back upon the battalions occupying 
Le Grole and the hiUs in the vicinity. Le Grole was in 
tiu'n captured after some very sharp fighting, and the 
defenders then retired upon their reserves, holding the 
next line of hills some 3,000 yards in front of Solferino. 
The battle for the possession of these heights was pro- 
tracted and bloody, but they were taken about 10 
o'clock, and the French were then able to move for- 
ward and place upon them several guns which engaged 
the Austrian pieces about Solferino. Stadion had long 
since informed Count Schlick of the attack which was 
pressing upon him, and the 1st and Vllth Corps were 



MAGENTA AND SOLFERINO, 1859 209 

moved up close in support, while MensdorfE's cavalry 
left Bregnedolo and moved into the open country between 
the Casa Morino and Cassiano. 

On the left of the French centre Ladmirault was gain- 
ing but little ground, and even that with great sacrifice, 
but Baraguey now found himself able to send forward 
his remaining division — that of Bazaine — as the Emperor 
Napoleon, who had now himself reached this part of 
the field, had deployed the two infantry divisions of the 
Guard in support. Already Bils' brigade, which had 
suffered grievously, had begun to give ground, and the 
brigades of Festetics and Puchner had fallen back to 
the heights round thfe village of Solferino and had occu- 
pied the houses, the cemetery and the Monte di Cipressi. 
Here they had been reinforced by several battalions 
from the brigades of Hoditz and Paszthory of the 1st 
Corps, which had reached the scene of action. The 
troops were all well covered behind walls and inside the 
houses and ofiered for long a formidable resistance, but 
the French were at last able, after great difficulties and 
with immense loss, to bring a battery on to the heights, 
and at a range of 300 yards to open fire upon the ceme- 
tery and attempt to batter down its walls. 

The Itahan Army had passed the night of the 23rd 
in the folio-wing positions : the 2nd Division (Fanti) 
at Malocco maintained touch with Baraguey d'Hilliers ; 
the 1st (Durando) and 5th (Cucchiari) were in bivouac 
about Lonato; the 3rd (Mollard) was at Rivoltella, while 
the 4th (Galdini) had been sent north towards Tyrol 
in support of Garibaldi. The 1st, 3rd, and 5th Divisions 
were each ordered to send forward on the 24th strong 

P 



210 THE CAMPAIGN OF 



reconnoitring coltuims towards Pozzolengo, and in accord- 
ance with these iostructions Durando dispatched at 4 
a.m. a brigade, which, on reaching Venzago about 5.30, 
detached 2 battalions, 2 guns and 2 squadrons towards 
Pozzolengo. These found Madonna della Scoperta occu- 
pied by the enemy and their advanced troops became 
engaged. 

Cucchiari in like manner had sent forward a similar 
detachment, which left Lonato at 3 a.m., passed through 
Desenzano, followed the railway for some distance and 
then turned south towards Pozzolengo. 

Mollard sent out no fewer than four such reconnoitring 
parties, and all came more or less in contact with the 
Austrians in position in front of Pozzolengo and Madonna 
della Scoperta ; but this breaking up of the Italian 
forces into numerous smaU and independent columns, 
efiectuaUy prevented King Victor Emmanuel from dis- 
posing usefully of masses of troops, and exercised a bane- 
ful influence upon the action of his army as a whole, from 
which it suffered throughout the remainder of the day. 

The Vlllth Corps had bivouacked on the night of the 
23rd with all its brigades in and around Pozzolengo, 
whence it was to have marched next day ia three columns 
upon Lonato and Desenzano. About 6.30 a.m., how- 
ever, the advance of the Italians upon Pozzolengo was 
detected and Benedek at once placed four brigades on 
the hiUs covering the town from the west, holding 
back in reserve the greater part of two complete bri- 
gades. These arrangements were more than sufficient ; 
the various Italian columns attacked the positions held 
by the Austrians, but were easily driven back upon the 
brigades in rear. The Austrians then pursuing, possessed 



MAGENTA AND SOLFERINO, 1859 211 

themselves of the high ground about San Martino, but 
not being at the moment sufficiently strongly supported, 
found it necessary to fall back. Benedek had by now 
reaUsed that he had no longer to deal with mere reconnoi- 
tring parties, but that practically the whole ItaUan 
Army was in his front, and deciding, if possible, to seize 
the strong position of San Martino, he attacked it with 
three brigades, and after heavy fighting succeeded in 
there establishing himself. 

He was not, however, to be permitted to remain there 
undisturbed ; between 9 and 10 o'clock Cucchiari's 
division advanced from the direction of Eivoltella, and 
being joined by one of MoUard's brigades, threw itself 
against the Austrians. The attack, at first successful, 
was repulsed with loss and Cucchiari's troops fell back 
across the railway to Eivoltella and San Zeno to reform. 
By 10.30, then, aU the Itahan attempts in this portion 
of the field had been heavily defeated, and for something 
like two hours there was no resumption of hostihties in 
this quarter. Benedek, however, did not dare to pursue ; 
the Vth Corps on his left was still heavily engaged, and it 
seemed best to the Commander of the Vlllth Corps not 
to uncover his left flank by any premature advance. 

MeanwhUe the 2nd Piedmontese Division (Fanti) 
was at last ia movement from the vicinity of Malocco, 
where it had long been awaiting orders. The Emperor 
Napoleon had sent for the division to support Bara- 
guey's attack upon Solferino, but while on the march to 
the centre Victor Emmanuel, seeing the turn which events 
had taken in the northern part of the field, directed 
Fanti to move to the help of the Italians, ordering him 
to place one brigade imder the orders of Mollard, while 



212 THE CAMPAIGN OF 

Fanti himself proceeded ■witli the other towardiS Madonna 
della Scoperta to assist Duiando. 

The Emperor Napoleon had now established himself 
in front of the centre near the heights which Baraguey's 
troops had captured, and he was convinced that here 
lay the key of the whole of the Austrian position. Neither 
on the right or left had any real impression as yet been 
made upon the enemy's battle line, and the Emperor 
now decided to attempt to help the efforts of his flanks 
by breaking through in the centre. He then ordered 
d' Alton's brigade of Forey's division (which had not 
yet been engaged) to advance, but it was received with 
so terrible a fire that it was unable to push far forward, 
and General Forey, who had himself led the brigade, 
then called for reinforcements. These were at once 
forthcoming : Camou's division of the Imperial Guard 
was ordered to support Baraguey's corps — Picard's 
brigade being directed along the heights to the left, while 
that of Maneque supported d' Alton. 

This fresh attack was irresistible ; covered by the fire 
of two batteries of the artillery of the Guard, the Tower 
and the Monte di Gipressi were now taken with a rush, 
while further to the left Bazaine — whose batteries had been 
pounding the walls of the cemetery — now sent forward 
his infantry. Joined by some battalions of Ladmirault's 
division the cemetery was now stormed and finally 
carried with the bayonet, and the defenders, faUing back, 
evacuated the village of Solferino, leaving several guns 
and many prisoners in the hands of the French. 

While these events were passing in the centre, MacMahon 



MAGENTA AND SOLFERINO, 1859 213 

— heanng from Niel that he was about to move on Cav- 
riana — was now able to take gromid to his left and connect 
with the GuanL He therefore gave instructions to La 
Motteronge to march on Solferino, followed by the 
2nd Division nnder Decaen. To obviate the danger of 
any gap being thns formed between his own corps and 
Desvaux's Cavalry Division, MacMahon ordered the 
cavalry of the Guard — which had been placed at his dis- 
posal — to take post on his right. In the south General 
Xiel, who with his single corps had more than stood 
his ground against the troops of Schwartzenberg and 
Scha%otsche, now, about 11 a.uL, saw the heads of 
the columns of another Austrian corps — ^that of Weigl — 
entering upon the field from the direction of Castel 
Grimaldo. 

Yinoy had by this time turned CrenneviQe's men 
out of the farm north of Baite, but to capture and hold 
it, as also the line Rebecco — Baite — main road, against all 
the attacks of the Austrians, had used up practically 
the whole of Kiel's reserves. At last, however, his 
repeated calls upon Caniobert for co-operation met 
with some response ; Renault's division of the IUrd 
Corps had already been sent to cover de Ltizy's right 
flank south of Rebecco, and becoming easier in his mind 
in r^ard to the approach of the mythical men from 
Mantua, Canrobert placed one of Trochu's brigades at 
duel's disposal, retaining the other at Medole, while 
Bourbaki's division remained near Castel Goffredo to 
watch the roads from the south and south-east. 

In the centre Ladmirault, whose division had suSered 
heavily, was left to hold Solferino ; Bazaine was directed 



214 THE CAMPAIGN OF 

to follow Stadion, who had retired towards Pozzolengo ; 
Foray's division, with the Guard, was ordered on Cavriana ; 
while MacMahon moved forward upon Cassiano — which 
was occupied without much difficulty— and then stormed 
the Monte Fontana in rear, held by two brigades of the 
Vllth Corps. This, too, was captured and guns brought 
up to it. It was now about 2 p.m. MacMahon, then, 
seeing that the Guard had not yet been able to get up 
into hne with him, and that the Austrians were now 
again threatening to strike between himself and Niel, 
decided to make no onward moveUient for the present 
and to content himself with merely holding his ground. 
The Austrians, however, made a desperate attempt to 
regain possession of the hill, and for some time their 
adversaries had considerable difficulty in retaining 
possession, and it was not indeed until MacMahon had 
ordered a general advance of his whole corps, supported 
by a powerful artillery and a brigade of the Imperial 
Guard, that the remnant of the two gallant Austrian 
brigades of Wallon and Wussin were finally swept off 
the Monte Fontana and hurled back to Cavriana, where 
shells were already falling. 

Supported now by the file of forty- two guns, Niel in the 
south was still holding out against his numerous foes, and 
strengthened by the arrival of the brigade brought him 
by Trochu, and which he placed in rear of his centre, he 
even threw forward the few troops he stiU had in hand to 
the attack of Guidizzolo. This village was, however, 
held in great strength and the battahons which Niel had 
sent against it were obhged to fall back upon Baite. 
Caniobert had now at last, about 3 p.m., satisfied him- 



MAGENTA AND SOLFERINO, 1859 215 
i 

self that the right of the army was in no danger of sur- 
prise, and he therefore drew Bourbaki's division from the 
neighbourhood of Castel Gofiredo nearer to the IVth 
Corps, whereupon Niel ordered Trochu to send Bataille's 
brigade to the attack of Guidizzolo. The Commander 
of the First Austrian Army had, ere this, received orders 
from his Emperor to endeavour to relieve the pressure on 
the centre by bringing round his left and then striking 
with his whole strength at the flank of the French centre. 
It was, however, already impossible to carry out the 
Emperor's wishes. The Ilird and IXth Corps could not 
now be withdrawn from the actions in their front and 
set free to seek a fresh objective in a new direction ; 
the cavalry had left the field ; and the Xlth Corps — 
which as a body might yet have been used efiectively — 
had been drained away in driblets to fill up gaps and to 
strengthen weak points. The few infantry reserves, too, 
which now emerged from Guidizzolo, preparatory to 
marching on Cassiano and Solferino, were charged and 
checked by the French cavalry of the Guard connecting 
MacMahon and Niel. 

Bataille's brigade moved with ' great dan upon 
Guidizzolo, but although the Austrians were driven in 
and many prisoners were taken, the French were unable 
to penetrate into the town. 

In the centre, however, the Guard and the Ilnd Corps 
had now captured Cavriana, and in the northern part of 
the field only had the Austrians been able to hold — and 
more than hold — their own. 

The four brigades in Benedek's front line had endured 
and beaten back the attacks of the ItaHan divisions of 



2i6 THE CAMPAIGN OF 

Mollard and Cuccliiari, and had indeed so completely 
overtliiown them that about 1 o'clock the battle in 
this portion of the field had died down, and for some 
two hours there was no more heard " the voice of them 
that shout for mastery and the noise of them that cry, 
being overcome." Benedek was still in ignorance of the 
fact that Cialdini's division was detached and that 
Durando was engaged about Madonna della Scoperta 
with the right wing of the Vth Corps. He only knew 
with whom he had been fighting, and had no idea by 
whom the action might be renewed. 

After two o'clock, as the Italians were again gathering 
for the attack, Benedek heard of the renewal of the 
assault, in overwhelming force, upon Solferino, and 
received an order from Count SchUck to endeavour to 
make a diversion against the left of the French. This was 
shortly followed by a query from Imperial Headquarters 
whether it was possible for the Vlllth Corps to detach 
troops to the assistance of the Austrians about Solferino. 
Benedek wisely decided that neither of these proposals 
were practicable and that he could best help to gain 
the day by the defeat of the enemy akeady in his front. 
It was clear to him that the King of Italy had not yet 
fully developed his attack and the force in his front 
seemed to be momentarily increasing in strength. To 
send any real help to SoKerino he must detach at least two 
complete brigades, and he did not feel any confidence 
that he could at the most hold his ground with the 
troops then remaining, while the loss of his position 
would entail that of Pozzolengo, in rear of which lay the 
line of retreat of the Second Army. 

About 3 p.m., the first reports reaching Benedek of the 



MAGENTA AND SOLFERINO, 1859 217 

commencement of the retreat of the Vth Corps, he 
withdrew four battaUons from his position and sent 
General EeichUn with them to occupy some hills to the 
south and south-west of Pozzolengo, so as both to secure 
the right flank of the Vlllth Corps and also cover the 
retirement of the Vth. Reichlin reached his intended 
position about 4 p.m. — reheving there the rearguard of the 
Vth Corps — and was almost immediately attacked by 
the brigade Piedmont of Fanti's division, which, ordered 
to support Durando, had pushed forward by Madonna 
deUa Scoperta, then vacated by the troops under 
Stadion. Since then Mollard.with Fanti's other brigade, 
was at this moment preparing to attack San Martino in 
front, while Cucchiari was operating against it from the 
direction of RivolteUa and San Zeno, it wiU be realized 
that Benedek's position was thus endangered from 
three sides. 

Shortly after four, o'clock the Vlllth Corps received 
orders to retire and cross the Mincio at SaUonze. Bene- 
dek, however, was determined to hold his ground until 
the Vth Corps had got well away and until he had sent 
off his wounded and trains ; it seemed clear to him, too, 
that any attempt to cross at Salionze with his whole 
corps must interfere with Stadion's retirement, so he 
arranged for two brigades with the ammunition reserve 
columns to pass the river at Peschiera. 

About 5 o'clock a tremendous rain and thunder- 
storm — accompanied by iatense darkness — broke over the 
whole field, and in other portions of it put an end to the 
fighting and assisted the Austrian retreat ; in front of 
San Martino, however, the battle was resumed and 
continued to rage. 



2i8 THE CAMPAIGN OF 



Reichlin was driven from his position and forced to 
retire on Monzambano, but tbe remainder of the corps 
fought magnificently up to and during the retreat, which 
Benedek only commenced about 9 p.m. — himself leading 
one last desperate counter-attack which overthrew the 
Itahans and secured a practically immolested retire- 
ment for the much-tried Vlllth Corps. By 3 a.m. on 
the 25th the passage of the Mincio was accompUshed, as 
arranged, at Salionze and Peschiera. 

The First Army had fallen back long before. As early 
as 2 p.m. Wimpffen, having no cavalry at hand, seeing 
no signs of the Ilnd Corps, and all his reserves having 
long since been thrown into the fight, had reported to the 
Emperor Franz Josef that he could no longer hold his 
ground ; he directed that the IXth Corps should fall 
back upon Goito, the Ilird by Cerlungo to Ferri, while 
the Xlth Corps covered the retreat of both and eventu- 
ally retired by Goito to Roverbella. When about 3 p.m. 
the Emperor heard of the capture of Solf erino and Cassiano 
and the retreat of the Vth and 1st Corps, he gave instruc- 
tions that the Vth Corps should fall back fighting to 
Pozzolengo, and that Schhck — gathering up all the still 
effective units of the Second Army — should take up^a 
fresh position about Cavriana and hold his ground 
there as long as possible. The Austrian Emperor did 
not at that time regard the loss of Solferino as implying 
the loss of the battle, and hoped that with the 1st and 
Vllth Corps he might yet be able to hold back the 
French in the centre, while the stroke which he had 
ordered Wimpffen to make fell upon the flank of the 
advancing enemy. But it was not long before news 



MAGENTA AND SOLFERINO, 1859 219 



reached the Emperor at Cavriana that the First Army 
had abeady begun to fall back and therewith vanished all 
hope of re-estabUshing the fight. The Emperor then 
ordered a retreat behind the Mincio, and SohHck — direct- 
ing the Vllth to make as protracted a stand as possible at 
Cavriana and at Volta — withdrew his remaining corps 
from the battlefield. 

The fatigue of the AlUes, and the heavy storm which at 
5 p.m. descended upon the field, put an end to the fight- 
ing and checked aU pursuit ; the Austrian corps fell back 
unhindered, and by the evening of the 25th they had all 
regained the positions on the left bank of the Mincio 
which they had quitted on the morning of the 23rd. 
Even then, however, the rest they so greatly needed 
was not assured, for the Emperor Franz Josef directed 
that in the event of any serious attack upon the line of 
the Mincio on the 25th, the retreat should be continued to 
the banks of the Adige. 



The losses sustained by the imits of both 


armies were 


follows : — 






AtrSTBIAHS 






First Army: — 


Officers. 


Men. 


nird Corps 


109 . . 


. 3,098 


IXth „ 


130 . 


. 1,219 


Xlth 


61 . . 


. 2,140 


Zedtwitz's Cavalry Div. . . 


2 . . 


37 


Second Aimy: — 






1st Corjg 


90 . . 


. 2,734 


Vth , 


124 . . 


. 4,318 


Vllth , 


34 . 


. 1,844 


Vlllth,, 


79 . . 


. 2,536 


Mensdorfi's Cavalry Mv. . 


. 10 . . 


172 



Grand Total 639 officers & 21,098 men. 



220 



THE CAMPAIGN OF 



Of whicli there were killed 


94 officers 2,198 men 


„ „ „ „ wounded . 


500 


10,307 „ 


., missing . 


45 


8,593 „ 


Allies 






KiUed. 


Wounded. 


Miasing. 


Imperial Guard 181 . 


704 . 


03 


1st Corps . . 610 . . . 


3,162 . 


. 659 


Ilnd „ . . 234 . . . 


986 . 


. 275 


Ilird „ . . 37 . . . 


257 . 


19 


IVth „ . . 560 . . . 


3,421 . 


. 502 


Italian Army 691 . 


3,572 . 


. . 1,258 



Grand Total 2,313 



12,102 



2,776 



Out of wliichtlie French had 117 officers killed and 644 
wounded ; the Italians had 49 officers killed and 167 
wounded. The casualties among the senior officers was 
very heavy on both sides ; the Austrians had four general 
officers woimded, the French five and the Italians two, 
and of these latter two of the French and one of the 
Italians died of their wounds. Among, too, those of 
junior rank, who this day died for France, there was one 
who bore a name associated with the triumphs of the 
First Napoleon upon Itahan soil ; this was Lieut. -Col. 
Junot, Duke of Abrantes, Chief of the Staff to General 
de Failly. 

That night the Allied Army bivouacked where the 
end of the battle had left them — the troops of Victor 
Emmanuel at San Martiao, the 1st French Corps at 
Solferino, the Ilnd at Cavriana, the Ilird at Rebecco, 
the IVth between Medole and Guidizzolo, the Guard 
and Imperial Headquarters at Cavriana, and the cavalry 
of Desvaux and Partouneaux about Guidizzolo. 



MAGENTA AND SOLFERINO, 1859 221 

Of the battle itself Hamleysays : " There was no exhibi- 
tion on either side of strategical art ; none of the move- 
ments on either side since the battle of Magenta had 
altered the chances of success ; and the result was alto- 
gether due to tactics." He cites the battle of SoUerino 
as a good illustration of the necessity for moving as 
compactly and as nearly in fighting order as possible 
when in the vicinity of the enemy. " Both armies," 
he says, " had reconnoitred the country between the 
Chiese and Mincio ; each expected to find its adversary 
awaiting it behind the river ; neither anticipated the 
encounter ; but the French Army was by far the best 
prepared for it by the order of its march." Further 
Hamley points out that the peculiar conformation of the 
hill of Solferino — the back steep, scarped and accessible 
by but one winding path and with nearly two miles of 
broken ground between it and the hills about Cavriana 
— minimised its advantage as an advanced post in front 
of the general position ; he would have had it either left 
altogether unoccupied or have advanced the whole line 
of battle so as to include it. 

The cause of the victory of the Allies at Solferino, 
Moltke finds in the better leading of the French, but 
above all in the fact that the Austrian Commander had 
no general reserve anywhere at his own disposal. The 
Austrian Army, too, had only quite recently been re- 
organised, and the three years' term of universal military 
service had been only some two years established, so 
that the army was practically composed of recruits. 
The supply arrangements of the Austrians were through- 
out faulty and frequently came altogether to a stand- 
still. The actual rations were insufficient for men 



222 THE CAMPAIGN OF 

enduring the hardsMps of field service, since they only 
received half a pound of meat a man per diem and 
were not permitted to cook their food oftener than 
once in twenty-four hours. 

To the objection made by some that the Austrians 
fought with a river at their backs, Lecomte porats out 
that in this particular case, where the Miticio was 
spanned by numerous bridges and also covered by two 
fortresses, the usual dangers and inconveniences of such 
a position were reduced to a minimum. The best proof 
of the correctness of his assertion is that the Austrian 
retirement was easily and rapidly conducted, although 
at the same time it is not improbable that a knowledge 
of the risks of their position induced them to fall back 
full early. 

Riistow seeks the chief reasons for the Austrian over- 
throw in the fact that owing to the Austrian force hav- 
ing been divided into two armies, the Emperor Franz 
Josef— nominally the Commander-in-Chief — had no 
troops, and especially no general reserve, at his own dis- 
posal, and that consequently each army fought for its 
own hand. Further, up to and after 10 a.m. the Aus- 
trian Staff refused to believe that a general action had 
long since commenced, and thrust brigade after brigade, 
as each came up, into the fight, where they were at 
once overpowered by superior numbers at the particu- 
lar point, so that when any real reinforcement was 
required none was to hand. But Riistow very truly re- 
marks that it was not gun or rifle or even tactics which 
won the day at Solferino, but the offensive spirit which 
was wanting in the Austrian leaders ; and in support of 



MAGENTA AND SOLFERINO, 1859 223 

this statement he points out that the Austrians, who 
crossed the Mincio simply and solely to attack the Allies, 
had no sooner met them than they took up defensive 
positions. 



THE PEACE OF VILLAFRANCA 



Q 



CHAPTER X 

THE PEACE OF VILLAFEANCA 

Aftee the battle of Solferino — whereat the French claim 
to have captured 2 Colours, 30 guns and 6,000 pris- 
oners — ^no pursuit of the Austrians was attempted, even 
on the 25th, on which day the French moved quietly 
forward — the 1st Corps to the vicinity of Pozzolengo 
and the IVth to Volta. The rest of the AUied Army 
remained in the positions of the previous night with 
the exception that the Ilird Corps replaced the 1st at 
Solferino, leaving one of its divisions at Guidizzolo with 
the cavalry of Desvaux and Partouneaux. 

The Austrians, on recrossing the Mincio, had either 
destroyed or prepared for destruction all the bridges 
in their rear ; orders had been issued, as has been al- 
ready mentioned, that in the event of serious attack the 
Mincio line was not to be held, but that the army should 
fall back behind the Adige ; on the morning of the 27th, 
however, a fresh order was given out that the troops 
should hold their ground, making none the less every 
preparation for orderly retirement in case of need. In 
the course of the day the Emperor Franz Josef visited 
the Headquarters of both armies, and, in reply to in- 
quiries, was assured by their Commanders that it was 

227 



228 THE CAMPAIGN OF 

doubtful whether their men would stand against any 
real attack and the advisability of retirement behind 
the Adige was urged. The Emperor then finally de- 
cided that the army should withdraw from the line of 
the Mincio, and that night the outposts of both armies fell 
quietly back ; leaving the bivouac fires aUght, the 
Austrians retired, and during the course of the 28th 
the Second Army was already in position on the left 
bank of the Adige and about Verona, the First Army 
falling into line the next day. 

The Emperor Napoleon had decided that, prior to 
marching on Verona, it was necessary to reduce the fort- 
ress of Peschiera, the possession of which was important 
to cover his main Kne of operations, to serve as a base 
for any onward movements, and to assure, if such became 
necessary, his line of retreat. The siege operations 
had been entrusted to the ItaHans, who took up a line 
from Ponti to Rivoltella, and on the 26th Baraguey 
d'Hilliers pushed one of his divisions on to Monzambano 
in their support. On the 28th the 1st Corps crossed the 
river to Casa Prentina, while on the day following, Niel — 
who for his share in the victory of Solferino had been 
created a Marshal of France — moved to Borghetto and" 
Valeggio, the Itahans establishing on the 30th their 
5th Division at Salionze. 

On July 1 the Headquarters of King Victor Em- 
manuel were moved to Pozzolengo, his 3rd and 5th 
Divisions were placed on the left of the 1st Corps, and 
the investment of Peschiera was complete. On this day 
the whole of the remainder of the French Army was 
transferred to the left bank of the Mincio, crossing at 



MAGENTA AND SOLFERINO, 1859 229 

Monzambano, Borglietto and Pozzolo, and occupied 
positions — the 1st Corps at Oliosi, the Ilnd at Santa 
Lucia, and the IVth at Gustoza ; the whole of the rest 
of the French Aimy was about Valeggio, except Bour- 
baki's division, which was at Goito. The cavahy were 
occupied in pushing forward parties towards Mantua, 
and also towards the Oglio to meet Priuce Napoleon, 
whose corps actually joined the main army on the 3rd. 

On the 2nd MacMahon had moved to ViUafranca and 
Niel to Sommacompagna, while the 1st Corps occupied 
Castelnuovo and Cavalcaselle. 

The measured • movements of the Allies, which had 
given the enemy breathing time after the battle of 
SoKeriuo, are said to have been due, in the first instance, 
to a deficiency of suppUes and to the fact that these, 
even when forthcoming, could not be brought up, as all 
transport was required for the evacuation of the wounded 
of both armies — one might almost say of all three, since 
very many of the Austrian wounded had of necessity 
been left on the field ; in the second instance, to the 
tardy arrival of the material required for the prosecu- 
tion of the siege of Peschiera. Already on June 16 
orders had been sent to France to expedite the dispatch 
of the necessary siege guns, for which the projectiles 
and the fuzes were still in course of manufacture in 
French arsenals. On July 3, however, part of the siege 
park arrived at Pozzolengo, and a week later the French 
were able to commence the establishment of their bat- 
teries before Peschiera. 

A very brief account must now be given of the opera- 
tions which had been carried out in the mountains of 



230 THE CAMPAIGN OF 



Tyrol and of those wMoh were projected on the sea. 
We have seen that the Vlth Corps shared with the 
main army in the alternate advances and retirements 
dictated by the vacillating methods of the Austrian 
Headquarter Staff, and that its Commander had been 
ordered to support the westward movement of Juno 
23, which culminated in the defeat at Solferino, by push- 
ing forward towards Salo and Gavardo. At this time 
Austrian garrisons were besieged in Rocca d'Anfo and 
Bagolina ; the latter place fell and the required advance 
to Salo was now scarcely practicable and was not indeed 
carried out, the Vlth Corps falling back to cover tlio 
approaches to the Upper Adige. 

On the 26th, Cialdini's division had occupied Aprica, 
Edolo, Breno, Lavenone and Salo, while Garibaldi's 
troops had advanced into the Valtelin ; the principal 
valleys and the westward approaches thereto, being 
thus held and safeguarded, there was no longer any fear 
for the left flank and rear of the Allied Army, since the 
Vlth Corps was thus held completely in check. The 
troops under Cialdini and Garibaldi — the latter was early 
in July at Tirano with eleven battalions and several 
independent compames — were not to be the only force 
available for service in the mountains. Another infan- 
try division, that of General Hugues, left France on 
July .3, and was sent on to Brescia, there to form a 
support to the Italian troops operating in Tyrol. 

The navy, too, was ready to effect a diversion by strik- 
ing at Venice, which had been blockaded since Juno 1 
by a small squadron under Rear-Admiral Jurien de la 
Graviere. On June 12 the main fleet sailed from Toulon 
and arrived on the 21st at Antivari, whore, being joined 



MAGENTA AND SOLFERINO, 1859 231 

by four Italian ships, Admiral Eomain Desfoss6s now 
united under his command 50 ships of war, mounting 
800 gims. From Antivari the fleet proceeded to the 
Island of Lossini, which had been chosen to serve as an 
advanced base for future naval operations ; the island is 
only a few hours' sail from Venice and is almost equi- 
distant from Trieste, Pola, Fiume and Zara. The orders 
given to the Admiral in command were to force an 
entrance to the harbour of Venice, penetrate into the 
lagoons and bombard the forts. The ships had only 
embarked 1,000 infantry and artillery for landing pur- 
poses, but it was the intention of the Emperor Napoleon 
to send forward, at a favourable moment, a corps to 
operate from Venice upon the Austrian communications. 
General Wimpffen — who had been promoted from bri- 
gadier after Magenta — was nominated to the command 
of the military forces intended to be landed upon the 
shores of the Adriatic, and a body of 8,000 men had been 
ordered to embark in Algeria to form the nucleus of 
such a force. 

There are three main channels of approach to Venice — 
that by the Lido, by Malamocco and by Chioggia, and 
the last had been selected as the point where the fleet 
shoidd force an entrance. 

The following then were the dispositions of the Emperor 
Napoleon for carrying on the war : on the left, by the 
operations of Cialdini and Garibaldi, to threaten the 
Austrian right and the line of the Adige ; in the centre, 
having possessed himself of Peschiera, to capture 
Verona ; and with the fleet to attack and seize Venice, 
using that town as a base whence to laimch attacks upon 
the Austrian line of communications. 



232 THE CAMPAIGN OF 

But at this moment the Emperor Napoleon discovered 
signs that the prosecution of the war might possibly 
result in its being no longer confined to the three Powers 
now engaged, and that France might be called upon to 
fight not only on the Adige but also on the Rhine. He 
decided then that it would be inexpedient to risk " ce 
qu'U n'est fermis a un souverain de mettre en jeu que pour 
I'iiidependance de son pays," and being desirous of dis- 
covering the views of the Emperor of Austria, he sent 
General Fleury to him at Verona on July 6, proposing 
a suspension of arms. At the same time he wisely made 
aU preparations for the continuation of the siege of Pes- 
chiera and for the protection of the besieging force ; 
and with this object the French Army took up a position 
next morning on the hills bordering the Tione, having 
its left at Oastelnuovo, where was the 1st Corps, its right 
at Valeggio held by the Ilird, the centre being made up 
by the IVth Corps at Oliosi and the Ilnd at Santa Lucia ; 
in rear were the Vth Corps and the Imperial Guard. 

In the meantime, however. General Fleury had re- 
turned from Verona with the acceptance of the proposed 
armistice, and aU hostile movements both by land and 
sea were at once suspended. The terms of the armistice 
signed on the 8th, provided for a suspension of arms until 
August 15, and for lines of demarcation between the 
respective armies ; but on the 11th there was a meeting 
between the two emperors at ViUafranca, and the condi- 
tions of peace — finally ratified at Ziirich ia the following 
November — were then discussed and afterwards drawn 
up. By this treaty Austria was to cede Lombardy to 
Napoleon, who was then to hand it over to Piedmont ; 
the Italian States were to be amalgamated into a con- 



MAGENTA AND SOLFERINO, 1859 233 

federation under the Pope ; but Venice, though' forming 
part of this confederation, was to remain under Austrian 
rule. 

Napoleon had entered upon the campaign announcing 
his intention of " freeing Italy from the Alps to the 
Adriatic." It has been said, however, " that he wished 
Italy to be free, but did not want Italian imity ; 
rather did he desire the formation of a confederacy 
wherein France could always make her own pre- 
dominance felt in the Peninsula." Circumstances ia the 
end, however, proved to be too strong for him; the pro- 
visional government in Florence suddenly determined 
to unite Tuscany to Piedmont, and Romagna, EmiUa, 
Parma and Modena at once followed suit. " In the con- 
vention of Plombieres it had been agreed that in the 
event of a kingdr>m of eleven million inhabitants being 
established from the Alps to the Adriatic, Piedmont 
would cede Savoy to France. As, however, by the treaty 
of Villafranca, Venetia had remained under the Austrian 
yoke, no more had been said about cession of territory, 
but, by the annexation of Central Italy, the number of 
Victor Emmanuel's subjects was now augmented to 
eleven million. In order to induce Napoleon to approve 
of such an annexation, Cavour ofiered him Savoy, but 
the Emperor claimed Nice as well." These were ceded 
to France in March, 1860, and thus, by a strange irony 
of fate. Savoy, the cradle of the dynasty whose reigning 
representative had made Italy a kingdom, and Nice 
Garibaldi's native province, became the spoils of the Ally . 



APPENDIX A. 

ORDRE DE BATAILLE OP THE SARDINIAN ARMY 
ON THE 4TH JUNE, 1859. 



Ist DIVISION. 




4(A DIVISION. 




Castelboigo. 




Claldlnl. 

l3t Bde. (Regina). 
Villamarina. 

7th Bersaglieri . 




S 

o 

1 


1 


03 


Effectives. 


S 

o 


i 
1 


O 


Effectives. 


8t Bdo. (Grenadiers) 
CoUiano. 


1 




1 


S 


3rd BersagUeri 


1 


— 


— 


— 


— 


1 


_ 


_ 


_ 


_ 


Ist Grenadiers 


4 


— ■ 


— 


— 


— 


9th Regiment 


4 


. 











2nd 


4 


— 


— 


— 


— 


10th 


4 














,nd Bde. (Savoy). 












2nd Bde. (Savona). 












Perrier. 












Broglia. 












4th Beiaaglieri 


1 


— 


— 


— 


— 


6th Bersaglieri . 


1 














1st Regiment . . 


4 


— ■ 


— 


— 


— 


16th Regiment . 


4 





— 


— 


. . 


2nd „ . . 


4 


— 


— 


— 


— 


16th „ 


4 





, 





, 


Cavalry . . 


— 


4 


— 


— 


— 


Cavalry . 




4 











ArtiUery . 


■ 


— . 


18 


— ■ 


— 


ArtiUery . . 
Total of 4th Division 

5th DIVISION. 


— 




12 


— 


— 


:otal of 1st Division 


18 


4 


18 


9961 


400 


18 


4 


12 


10,757 


400 


















2nd DIVISION. 












Cucchlarl. 












Eanti. 












1st Bde (Caaale). 












1st Bde. (Piedmont). 












Pettinengo. 












Mollard. 












8th BersagUeri 


1 


— 


— 








9th Bersaglieri 


1 


— 


— 


— 


— 


11th Regiment . 


4 














3rd Regiment 


4 


— 


— 


— 


— 


12th 


4 


— 


— 








«h „ . . 


4 


— 


— 


— 


— 


2nd Bde. (Aocim). 












3nd Bde. (Aosta). 












Gozzanl. 












Banesl. 












6th BersagUeri . 


1 














1st Bersaglieri 


1 


— 


— 


— 


— 


17th Regiment 


4 


■ 





, 





6th Regiment 


4 


— 


— 


— 


— 


18th 


4 














6th „ . . 


4 


— 


— 


— 


— 


CavalTy . 


— 


4 





. 





Cavalry . 


— ■ 


4 


— 


— 


— , 


ArtiUery . . 


— 




18 





, 


Artillery . . 


— 


— 


18 


— 


— 














Total of 2nd Division 


18 


4 


18 


11082 


400 


Total of 6th Division 


18^ 


4 


18 


10,993 


400 


GAVALRT 






































DIVISION. 












3Ti DIVISION. 












Samhny. 












Durando. 












1st Bde. Sonnaz . 


— 


8 





















2nd Bde. Savoironx 





8 











Ist Bdo. (Cmieo). 
Arnaldi. 


1 










Horse ArtiUery . 
Total of Cav. Division 


— 




12 


— 


— 


10th BersagUeri . 





16 


12 


__ 


1980 


7th Regiment . 


4 


— . 


— 


— 


— 




== 














8th „ . . 


4 


— 


— 


— 


— 


OAOOIATORI 












2nd Bde. (Pinerolo). 












DBLLB ALPI. 












Morozzo. 
2nd Bersaglieri . 


1 








_ 


Garibaldi. 












13th Regiment . 


4 


_. 


— 


— 


— 


1st Regiment . . 


2 














14th ,; 


i 





__ 


— 


— 


2nd „ . . 


2 














Cavalry . . 




4 











3rd „ . . 


2 














Artillery . . 


— 


— 


12 


— 


— 


Cavalry . . 
Total . . . 




1 


— 


— 


— 


Total of 3rd Division 


'18 


4 


12 


10,696 


400 


6 


1 


— 


8420 


50 



23S 



ORDRE DE BATAILLE OF THE FRENCH ARMY ON 4TH JUNE, 1859. 



IMPERIAL GUAilD. 
Regiiiiud dc S. Jean d' Aiigely. 










1ST OOE.PS. 
Baraguey d'Hilliers. 

1st Infantry Division. 
Forey. 

1st Bde. Bieu. 

17th Chasseurs .... 

74th aegt 

84th „ 

2nd Bde. Blanchard. 

91st aegt 

98th „ 

Artillery .... 

Total . . . 

2nd Infantry Division. 
de Ladniirault. 
1st Bde. Niol. 

10th Chasseurs .... 

1.5th Eegt 

21st „ 

2nd Bde. de Negrier. 

61st Kegt 

100th 

Artillery .... 

Total . . . 

3rd Infantry Division. 
Bazaine. 
1st Bde. Gozc. 

1st Zouaves 

33rd Ecgt 

34th 

2nd Bde. Dumont. 

37th Begt 

78th 

Artillery .... 

Total . . . 

Cavalry Division. 
Desvaux. 

1st Bde. do Planhol. 

5th Hussars 

1st Ch. d'Afriqne . , . 
2nd Bde. de Forton 

2nd Ch. d'AMque 

3rd 

Artillery .... 

Total . , . 

Total, including Corps Artil- 
lery (21 guns) .... 










IIND Corps. 
de MacMahon. 

ls( Infantry Division. 
de la Motterouge. 

1st Bde. Letebvre. 

Alg. Tiraillrs 

45th Begt. ..... 

2nd Bde. de Polhes. 

65th Eegt 

70th , 

Artillery .... 

Total . . . 

2nd Infantry Division 
Esptnasse. 
1st Bde. Gault. 

11th Chasseurs .... 

71st Begt 

72nd 

2nd Bde. de Castagny. 

2nd Zouaves .... 

1st Etrangers .... 

2nd „ .... 

Artillery .... 

Total . . . 

Cavalry Brigade. 

Gaudin de Villaine. 

4th Chasseurs k cheval . 
7th „ „ . . 

Total . . . 

Total, including Corps Artil- 
lery {15 guns) .... 

Of which, actually engaged at 
Magenta 










IIIED COUPS. 

Caurobert. 

ls( Infantry Divin-on. 
Renault. 

1st Bde. Picard. 

8th Chasseurs 

23rd Begt 

90th 

2nd Bde. Jannin. 

41st Begt 

56th „ 

Artillery .... 

Total . . . 

2nd Infantry Division. 
Trochn 
1st Bde. Bataille. 

19th Chasseurs .... 

43rd Begt 

44th , 

2nd Bde. Colliueau. 

64th Begt 

88th , 

Artillery .... 

Total . . . 

3rd Infantry Division. 
Bourbaki. 
1st Bde. Verge. 

18th Cha.sseurs .... 

nth Begt 

14th , 

2nd Bde. Ducrot. 

46th Eegt 

59th „ 

Artillery . . . 

Total . . . 

Cavalry Division. 
Partoune,aux. 

1st Bde. de Clerembault, 

2nd Hussars .... 

7th „ .... 
2nd Bde. de tabareyre. 

1st Lancers .."... 

4th „ .... 
Artillery .... 

Total . . . 

Total, including Corps Artil- 
lery (15 guns) .... 

Of which actually engaged at 
Magenta 








IVth CORPS. 
Jfiel. 

1st Infantry Division. 
de Luzy. 

1st Bde. Douay. 

5th Chasseurs .... 

30th Begt. ..... 

49th 

2nd Bde. Lenoble. 

6th Eegt 

8th „ 

Artillery .... 

Total . . . 

2nd Infantry Division. 
Vinoy. 

1st Bde. de Martimprey. 

6th Chasseurs .... 

52nd Eegt 

73rd 

2nd Bde. de la Charriere. 

85th Begt 

S6th 

Artillery .... 

Total . . . 

Srd Infantry Division. 
de Failly. 

1st Bde. O'Farrell. 

15th Chasseurs .... 

2nd Eegt 

53rd „ 

2nd Bde. Saurin. 

55th Eegt 

76th „ 

Artillery .... 

Total . . . 

Cavalry Brigade. 

de Eochfort. 

2nd Chasseurs a cheval . 
10th „ „ . . 

Total . . . 

Total, including Corps Artil- 
lery (21 guns) .... 

Of which actually engaged at 
Magenta 


.S 
1 
1 










Vth CORPS. 
Prince Napoleon. 

1st Infantry Division. 
d'Auteniarre. 

1st Bde. Neigre. 

3rd Zouaves 

76th Eegt 

89th Eegt 

2nd Bde. Correard. 

93rd Begt 

99th , 

Artillery .... 

Total . . . 

2nd Infantry Division. 
Uhrich. 

1st Bde. Grandchanip. 

14th Chasseurs .... 

18th Eegt 

26th 

2nd Bde. du Bourguct. 

80th Regt 

82nd 

Artillery .... 

Total . . . 

Cavalry Brigade. 

de Laperouse. 

6th Hussars .... 
8th „ . . 

Artillery .... 

Total . . . 
Total of Vth Corps . . . 






d 
o 

1 


2 

•s 

CO 


=3 


Effectives. 


1 


S 

ei 

S 

CD 


O 


Effectives. 


o 
1 


g 

CO 




Bffeetivcs. 


a 

s 

i 1 


i 

& 

CO 


5 


Effectives. 


s 
1 




Effectives. 


J 

B 

3 
3 
3 

3 
3 


s 1 


Effectives. 


ls( Infantry DiviHon. 
Melliuet. 

1st Bde. Clcr. 

Zouaves 

1st Greuadicrs .... 
2nd Bde. de Wimpffeu. 

2nd Grenadiers . '. 

3rd „ .... 
Artillery . . '. 


Men. 


Horses. 


Men. 


Horses. 


Men. 


Horses. 


Men. 


Horses 


a; 


Men. 


Horses 


o 

a* 
CO 


o 

12 


Men. 


Horses. 


2 
3 

3 
3 


— 


12 


- 


- 


1 
3 
3 

3 
3 


; 


12 






3 
3 

3 
3 


— 


z 

12 


— 


~ 


1 

3 
3 

3 
3 


- 


12 


~ 


- 


1 
3 
3 

3 
3 


- 


12 


- 


- 


~ 


- 


- 


Total 


11 


- 


12 


6,0BB 


~ 


12 


- 


12 


9,306 




1 




13 


- 


12 


5,483 


- 


13 


- 


12 


8,979 


- 


13 


- 


12 


6,394 


- 


15 


— 


12 


11,915 






1 
3 
3 

3 
3 


- 


12 


- 




1 
3 
3 

3 

2 
3 

15 


- 


12 


- 


~ 




ZnA Infantry Division. 
Caraou. 

1st Bde, Maneque. 

Cliasseurs 

1st Voltigeurs .... 

2nd Voltigeurs .... 
2nd Bde, Becaeu. 

3rd Voltigeurs .... 

4th Voltigeurs .... 
Artillery 


1 
3 
3 

3 
3 




12 


- 


- 


1 
3 
3 

3 
3 


~ 


12 


- 




1 
3 
3 

3 
3 

13 

1 
3 
3 

3 
8 


- 


12 


- 


- 


1 
3 
3 

3 
3 


- 


12 


~~ 


- 


Total 


13 


- 


12 


8,168 


- 




— ! — 




13 


- 


12 


6,222 


- 


12 


9,460 j — 


13 


- 


12 


6,702 




12 
12 


6,916 


- 


IS 


— 


12 


■ 




4 
4 

4 
4 

4 
4 


12 


- 


- 




Cavalry Division. 
Morris. 

1st Bde. Marion. 

1st Cuirassiers .... 

2nd „ 

2nd Bde. dc Chaniperon. 


3 
3 
3 

3 
3 


- 


12 


- 


- 


— 


4 
4 


~ 


~ 


— 


1 

3 
3 

3 
3 

13 


- 


— 
12 


- 


- 


~ 


~ 


— 


4 1 
4 


- 1 

^ 1 


; 


- 


8 


- 


- 


1,097 


__ 1 ■ 




28 


8 j 
8 


6 


— ! 1,128 


3rd Bde. Cassaignolles. 


27 


8 


39 


18,766 


1,097 


Chasseurs 


~ 1 ~ 


30 


21,127 1 


1,128 


Artillery 


25 


8 


39 


17,766 


1,097 


Total . . . 


_ 


24 


12 


_ 


3,672 


15 


- 


12 


8,514 


- 


12 


7,113 


— 


13 


- 


12 


6,590 


^ 






Total, including Corps Artillery 
(12 guns) 


24 


24 


48 


14,223 


3,672 


- 


4 
4 

4 
4 


6 














- 


4 
4 

4 
4 


6 


- 


- 


4 
4 


- 


- 


- 




Of which actually engaged at 
Magenta 


22 


1 


48 


13,223 


110 


i 








39 


8 
8 


67 


^ 


920 


















- 


- 


19,899 


920 






— 


16 


6 


- 


2,309 


- 


16 


6 


- 


1,299 


13 






6,915 


- 


)' 




39 


16 


57 


22,794 


1,299 






41 


16 


63 


20,219 


2,309 










i 1 








13 


— 


- 


8,979 


— 












■,' i 










I \ 

















1 


1 


i 











ORDRE DE BATAILLE OF THE AUSTB 



* Total of 1st Corps . 
Engaged at Magenta 

Cavalry Division. 
Mensdorff. 
l8t Bde. Holstein. 
5th Dragoons . 
6tii „ ... 

2nd Bde. Palffy. 

1st Uhlans .... 
12th Hussars . 
Artillery . 

Total of Cavalry Division 

Engaged at Magenta 



1st corps. 
Olam-Gallas. 

Isl Division. 
Montenuovo. 

1st Bde. Burdina. 

2nd Jaegers 

60th R«gt. . . 
2nd Bde. Paszthory 

24th Jaegers . 

16th Regt. . . 
3rd Bde. Brunner 

2nd Banal . 

29th Regt. . . 
Artillery . 

2nd Division. 
Cordon. 
1st Bde. Hoditz. 
14th Jaegers . 
48th Regt. . . 
2nd Bde. Reznicek, 
2nd Banal. 
37th Regt. . . . 
Artillery . 
Corps Artillery . 



EJfoctivcs. 



25 



24 



3 

i — 



8 j — 

8ti " 
— I 16 



25 : 16 



IlND CORPS. 
Liechtenstein. 

Isl Divisioit. 
Jellacic. 



1st Bde. Szabo. 

7th Jaegers . 

12th Regt. . 
2nd Bde. Koudelk, 

21st Jaegers . 

46th Regt. . 
Artillery . 



10,767 



2,469 



1,200 



*, No record of actual strength m men. 

t Of these i squadrons were with the IXth Corps .and 4 with Urban. 



'Itid Dimsion. 
Herdy. 
1st Bde. Baltiii. 
10th Jaegers . 

9tli Eegt 4 ; 

2iid Bde. Kintzl. 

45th Regt ! 4 ; 

Artillery . . . . : — ; 
Cavalry (r2th Uhlans)! — ; 
Corps Artillery . 

Total of Ilnd Corps ^■ 

Engaged at Magenta . 

• Tl>is division lust 8 guns at Palostio. 




IIIru corps. 

Schwartzenberg. 

Isi Division. 
Schonberger. 

1st Bde. Biirfekl. 
15th Jaegers 

58th Regt. . . . 
2nd Bde. Ramming. 

13tli Jaegers . 

27th Regt. 
Artillery . 

'2nd Division. 
Martini. 
1st Bde. Wetzlar. 
2nd Grenz Regt. 

Sth Regt 

2nd Bde. Hartung. 
23rd Jaegers . 
14th Regt. . . . 
Artillery . 
Cavalry (10th Hussars) 
Corps Artillery . 

Total of Illrd Corps . 

Engaged at Magenta . 



?. 


i 


o 


?. 


n 


% 










f» 


o2 


I 





4 


— 


1 


_._ 


4 


— 


1 

4 


-~ i 


1 


-_ 


4 


— 


— 


8 


— 


— 


20 


8 


20 


8 



Horses. 



Vth corps. 
Stadion. 

1st Division. 
Paumgartten. 



1st Bde. Gaal. 
1st Grenz Regt. 
3rd Regt. . . 
2nd Bde. Hess. 
4t)i Jaegers . 
31 St Regt. 
Ki — — 3rd Bde. Bils. 

3rd Greiiz Regt. 
47tli Regt. . 
Artillery . 



2«(/ Division. 
Sternberg. 
1st Bde. Koller. 
3rd Gronz Regt. 
32nd Regt. . 
16 — — I 2nd Bde. Festetics. 

6th Jaegers . 
24 i — — I 21st R«gt. 

Artillery . 
56 20,391 i 1,145 Cavalry (12th Uhlans) 
Corps Artillery . 



56 I 20,391 1,145 



Total of Vth Cor))a 

Engaged at Magenta 

* DetucJied in Tavia. 



NoiK. — There was in addition an Army ArtiUery Itcservi 



E AUSTRIAN ARMY ON THE 4TH JUNE, 1859. 



1*1 

4 I 



25 



Men. 



Horses. 



24 



16 __ : _ 
32 : — I — 
72 ' 24,452 I 040 

■ ; i_ 

8 : 4,120 ! — 



VIIth corps. 
Zobel. 

U'< Division. 
feischaoh. 

1st Bde. Lebzeltern. 

1st Kegt. . 
2ik1 Bde. Gableiitz 

3rd Jaegers . 

54th Regt. . 
Artillery . 

2nd Division. 
Lilia. 
1st Bde. Wcigl. 

53rd Regt. 
2nd Bde. Bondorf. 
2iid Grenz- Regt. 
22nd Regt . . 
Artillery . 
Cavalry (1st Hu.ssars) 
Corps Artillery . 

Total of VIIth Corps 



Klfecttvcs. 






— _ : iG I — 



HoKe-s. 



10 



— 4 _ ; _ 

— — 24 — 



18 



4 ', 56 



16 



15,464 i 571 



7,293 571 



VIIIth corps. 
Benedck. 

l6'( Division. 
Berger. 

1st Bde. Veranemaim. 

2nd Jaegers . 

7th Regt 

2nd Bde. Rodcn. 

4th Grenz Regt. . 

11th Regt . . . 
Artillery . 

'2,nd Division. 
Lang. 
1st Bde. Philippovio. 
5th Jaegers . 
17th Regt . . 
2nd Bde. Boer. 
3rd Jaegers . 
39th Regt. . . 
3rd Bde. Lippert. 
9th Jaegers . 
59th Regt. . . 
Artillery . 
Cavalry (1st Hussars) 
Corps Artillery . 

Total of VIIIth Corps 

Engaged at Magenta 




IXth corps. 
Schaffgotsclie. 

\sl Division. 
Handl. 

1st Bde. Castiglioue. 

8th Grenz Regt. 

19th Regt. . 
2nd Bde. Braum.' 

8th Greuz Regt. 

40th Regt . 
3rd Bde. Augustin. 

16th Jaegers . 

34th Ilegt. . 
Artillery . 

'ind Division. 
Creuneville. 
1st Bde. Blumencron. 
4th Jaegers . 
52nd Regt . . . 
2nd Bde. Pehlmayr. 
Titler Grenz Regt. . 
8th Regt. .... 
Artillery . 
Cavalry (12th Hussars) 
Corps Artillery . 

Total of IXth Corps . 

Engaged at Magenta . 

* Detached with Urban 



=3 

1 


! 

\ s 

1 

a* 




Effectives. 


Men. 


Horyes. 


1 

4 


— 


— 


— 


— . 


1 
4 

1 
4 


— 






— 


— 


10 


— 


— 


1 
4 

1 

4 




4 


16 


^- 


— 


— 


2 


— 


— 


25 


4 


56 


20,975 


428 






Nil. 





irtiUery lleserve o{ 88 guua, of wliicU 24 ouly were employed at Magenta. 



APPENDIX B. 

ORDRE DE BATAILLE OP THE SARDINIAN ARMY 
ON THE 24TH JUNE, 1859. 



1st DIVISION. 




m DIVISION. 




T\nrm\^n .^ 




nifiMim 




xiuianuui r- 


i 


i 




Effectives. 


VitVlUlLlli 


a 


i 




Effectives. 


t Brigade. 


1 


o 


i 


fl 


i 


1st Brigade. 


1 


■a 


i 


d 


% 


Colliano. 


s 


o 


s 


1 


Villamarina. 
9th Regiment 


00 


a 


S 


1 


1st Grenadiers 


4 


— 


_- 


— 


— 


4 


— 


— 


— 


— 


2iid 


4 


__ 


— 


— 


•~— 


10th 


4 


— 


— 





— 


8rd Boisaglieri . 


1 


— 


— 


— 


— 


7th Bersaglieri . 
2nd Brigade. 


1 


— 


— 





— 


nd Brigade. 












Broglia. 












Perrier. 












15th Regiment . 


4 


— 


— 





— 


1st Regiment . . 


4 


— 


— 


— 


— 


16th 


4 


— 


— 





— 


2nd „ . . 


4 


— 


• — 


— 


— 


6th BersagUeri . 


1 


— 


— 





— 


4th Bersaglieri 


1 


— 


— 


— 


— 


Cavalry . 


— 


4 


— 





— 


Cavalry 


— 


4 


— 


— 


— 


ArtiUery . 


— 


— 


12 





— 


Artillery . . 






18 


























Total . . 
sm DIVISION. 


18 


4 


12 


10,927 


400 


Total - . 


18 


4 


18 


10,083 


400 













2nd DIVISION. 












Cuccliiari. 












Fanti. 












1st Brigade. 






















Pettinengo. 












I9t Brigade. 












11th Regiment . 


4 


— 


— 


— 


— 


Camerana. 












12th 


4 


— 


— 


— . 


— 


3rd Eegiment 


4 


— 


— 


— 


— 


8th Bersaglieri 


1 


— 


— 


— ■ 


— 


4th 


4 


— 


— 


— 


— 


2nd Brigade. 












9th Bersaglieri . 


1 


— 


— 


— 


— 


Gozzani. 












2nd Brigade. 












17th Regiment 


4 


— 


— 


— ■ 


— 


Danesi. 












18th 


4 


— 


— 


— 


— ■ 


6th Regiment 


4 


— 


— . 


— 


— 


6th BersagUeri 


1 


— 


— 


— 


— 


6th 


4 


— 


— 


— 


— 


Cavalry . . 





4 


— 


— 


— 


lat Bersaglieri 


1 


— 


— 


— 


— 


Artillery . . 







18 


— 


— . 


Cavalry . 
Artillery . 




4 




















— 


18 


— 


— 


Total . . 

CAVALRY 
DIVISION. 


18 


4 


18 


10,743 


400 


Total . . 


18 


4 


18 


9,558 


400 


























Sambuy. 












Srd DIVISION. 












1st Bde. Sonnaz . 




8 




_ 


_ 


Mollard. 












2nd Bde. Savoiroux 





8 











Ist Brigade. 


4 










Horse Artillery. 
Total . . 


— 




12 


— 


— 


Amaldl. 


- 


16 


12 


— 


2097 


7th Regiment 








8th 


4 


— 


— 


— 


— 














10th Bersaglieri . 


1 


— 


— 


— 


— 


CACCIATORl 












nd Brigade. 












DBLLB ALPI. 












Morozzo. 












Garibaldi. 












13th Regiment . 


4 


— 


— 


. — 


— 














14th 


4 


— 


— 


— 


— . 


Ist Regiment 


2 


— 








— , 


2nd Bersaglieri . 


1 


— 


— 


— 


— 


2nd „ . . 


2 


— 


— 


— 


— 


Cavalry . 


— 


4 


— 


— . 


— 


3rd 


2 


— 





. 


— 


Artillery . . 


— 


— 


12 


— 


— 


Cavalry . . 
Total . . 




1 


— 


— 


— 


Total . . 


18 


4 


12 


11,15[ 


400 


6 


1 


~ 


3,120 


60 



ORDRE DE BATAILLE OF THE FRENCH ARMY ON THE 24TH JUNE, 1859. 



IMPERIAL GUABD. 
Reguaud de S. Jeau d'Angely. 








1ST CORPS. 
Baraguey d'Hilliers. 

1st Bivision. 
Forey. 

1st Bde. Dicu. 

17tll Cliasseurs .... 

74th Eegt 

84th „ 

2nd Bde. d'Aiton. 

91st Regt 

98th 

Artillery .... 

Total . . . 

2nd Bivision. 
de Ladmirault. 

1st Bde. Douay (F.). 

10th Cliasseurs .... 

15th Regt 

21st , 

2nd Bde. de Hegrier. 

6l3t Regt 

100th 

Artillery .... 

Total . . . 

Zrd Bivision. 

Bazaine. 

1st Bde. Goze. 

1st Zouaves 

33rd Kegt 

34th „ 

2nd Bde. Dumont. 

37th Regt 

78th „ 

Artillery ..... 

Total . . . 

Cavalry Bivision. 
Desvaux. 

1st Bde. de Planhol. 

5th Hussars 

1st Ch. d'Afrique . . . 
2nd Bde. de Forton. 

2nd Ch.' d'AMque . . . 

Srdi „ ... 
Artillery; .... 

Total . . . 

Corps Artillery; . . 

Grand Total of 1st Corps 

Engaged at Solferino 










IIND CORPS, 
de MacMahon. 

Isi Division. 
La Motterouge. 

1st Bde. Lcfebvrc. 

Turcos 

45th Regt 

2nd Bde. Douay. 

65th Regt 

70th , 

Artillery .... 

Total . . . 

2nd Divt^on. 
Decaen. 

1st Bde. Gault. 

11th Chasseurs .... 

71st Regt 

72nd „ 

2nd Bde. de Castagtiy. 

2nd Zouaves .... 

1st Etrangers .... 

2nd „ .... 
Artillery .... 

Total . . . 

Cavalry Brigade. 

Gaudin de Villaine. 

4th Chasseurs a cheval . 
7th „ „ . . 

Total . . . 

Corps Artillery . 

Grand Total of Ilnd Corps . 

Engaged at Solferino . 


3 
3 

3 
3 


S 

m 








IIIKD CORPS. 
Caurobert. 

1st Bivision. 
Renault. 

1st Bde. Doens. 

8th Chasseurs .... 

23rd Regt 

90th Regt 

2nd Bde. .Jannin. 

41st Regt 

56th „ 

Artillery .... 

Total . . . 

2nd Bivision. 
Trochu. 

1st Bde. Bataille. 

19th Chasseurs .... 

43rd Uegt 

44th „ 

2nd Bde. Colhncau. 

64th Regt 

88th 

Artillery .... 

Total . . . 

Srd Division. 
Bourbaki. 

1st Bde. VergS. 

18th Chasseurs .... 

11th Regt 

14th , 

2nd Bde. Ducrot. 

46th Regt 

59th 

Artillery .... 

Total . . . 

Cavalry Bivision. 
Partouneaux. 

1st Bde. de Clerembault. 

2nd Hussars . . 

7th ....... 

2nd Bde. de Labareyre. 

1st Lancers . . . 

4th „ . . . . . 
Artillery .... 

Total ... 

1 Corps Artillery . 

Grand total of Illrd Corps . 

Engaged at Solferino . . . 










ivth corps. 

Mel. 

1st Division. 
de Luzy. 

1st Bde. Doiiay (C). 

5th Ciiasseurs .... 

30th Eegt 

49th 

2nd Bde. Lcnoble. 

6th Regt 

8th 

Artillery .... 

Total . . . 

2nd Divisum. 
Vlnoy. 

1st Bde. de Capriol. 

6th Chasseurs .... 

52nd Regt 

73rd „ 

2nd Bde. de la Charriere. 

85th Regt 

86th 

Artillery .... 

Total . . . 

3rd Division. ■ 
de Failly. 
1st Bde. O'Farrell. 

15th Chasseurs .... 

2nd Regt 

53rd , 

2nd Bde. Saurin. 

55th Regt 

76th „ 

Artillery .... 

Total . . . 

Cavalry Brigade. 

de Rochefort. 

2nd Ch. a cheval .... 
10th „ .... 

Total ... 

Corps Artillery . 

Grand total of IVth Corps . 

Engaged at Solferino . 












vth corps. 

Prince Napoleon. 

1st Division. 
D'Autemarre. 

1st Bde. Neigre. 

3rd Zouaves .... 

76th Regt 

89th , 

2nd Bde. Correard. 

93rd Regt 

99th 

ArtiUery .... 

Total . . . 

2nd Bivision. 
Uhrich. 

1st Bde. Grandchanip. 

14th Chasseurs .... 

18th Eegt 

26th 

2nd Bde. du Bourguet. 

80th Regt 

82nd 

Artillery 

Total . . . 

Cavalry Brigade. 

de Laperouse. 

6th Hussars 

8th „ 

Artillery 

Total . . . 

Corps Artillery . 

Grand total of Vth Corps 

Engaged at Solferino . 




S 

3 

3 

1 


S 

-a 

$ 

a- 


i 


Effectives. 


3 

3 


1 

tf 
^ 


3 


Effectives. 


Effectives. 


1 


1 


1 


Effectives. 


a 

o 

1 

m 


d 

s 

IS 

s 

■CO 




■ Effectives. 


1 
P3 


o 


a 


Effectives. 


1st Division. 
Melliuet. 


Men. 


Horses. 


Men. 


Horses. 


Men. 


Horses. 


Men. 


Horses. 


Men. 


Horses. 


Men. 1 Horse 

i 


Zouaves 

1st Grenadiers .... 

2nd Bde. Blanchard. 

2nd Grenadiers .... 

3rd „ .... 

Artillery 


2 
3 

3 
3 

11 


- 


12 


~ 


~ 


1 

3 
3 

3 
3 


— 


12 


- 


- 


— 


12 


— 


- 


1 

3 
3 

3 
3 


- 


12 


- 


- 


1 

3 
3 

3 
3 





12 


: 





3 
3 
3 

3 
3 

15 


— 


12 










- 


12 


6,313 


- 


12 


- 


12 


7,902 


- 




Total . . . 


13 


— 


12 


6,602 


— 


13 


- 


12 


8,070 


- 


13 

1 
3 
3 

3 
3 


- 


12 


7,864 


- 


— 


12 


12,112 







1 
3 
3 

3 
3 

IS 


- 


12 


" 


; 


1 
3 
3 

3 

2 
3 


- 


12 


- 


- 




ind Ihvision. 
Camou. 

1st Bde. Mandque. 

Cliasseurs 

1st Voltlgeurs .... 

2nd „ .... 
2nd Bde. Picard 

3rd Voltigeurs .... 

4th „ .... 
Artillery 


1 
3 
3 

8 
3 


- 


12 


~ 


- 


1 
3 
3 

3 
3 

13 





12 


- 




- 


12 


- 


— 


1 
3 

3 

3 
3 


- 


12 


- 


- 




12 


7,709 


^r__ 




Total . . . 


13 


— 


12 


6,968 


— 


15 


— 


12 


8,254 


_ 


- 


12 


7,067 


- 


13 


~ 


12 


6,046 


- 


13 


- 


12 


8,948 


- 


Cavalry Bivision. 
Morris. 

1st Bde. Marion. 

1st Cuirassiers .... 

2nd „ .... 
2nd Bde. de Champeron. 


— 


4 
4 

4 
4 

4 
4 


12 


- 


- 


3 
3 
8 

3 

3 


- 


12 


- 


I 


— 


i 

4 




- 




1 
3 
3 

3 
3 


- 


12 


— 


- 


1 
3 
3 

3 
3 


- 


12 




- 


- 


4 
4 


6 




- 


- 


8 


- 


- 


1,347 




Dragoons 


~ 


8 


6 


__ 


1,044 




- 


- 


24 


- 


- 






3rd Bde. Cassaigolles. 

Ciiasseurs 

Guides 


28 


8 


24 


— 


27 


8 


48 


17,021 


1,347 


54 
Nil. 


21,060 1.04 


Artillery 

Total . . . 
Corps Artillery . . 


15 


- 


12 


8,307 


- 


25 


8 


48 


16,156 


1,347 


13 


^ 


12 


7,876 


— 


18 


— 


12 


7,117 


— 











12 


— 




- 


4 
4 

4 
4 


6 


- 


- 




— 


4 

4 

4 
4 


6 


— 


- 


- 


4 
4 


- 


; - 


- 






_ — — — - — — — 


Grand Total of Guard . . 


24 


24 


48 


14,022 


3,2B9 






24 


24 


36 


14,022 


3,2B9 




Engaged at Solferino . . 


— 


8 


— 


^ 


986 












-- 


- 


24 


- 


- 






39 


8 


60 


21,026 


986 






— 


16 


6 


- 


2,467 


- 


16 


6 


~ 


1,113 






39 


8 


60 


21,026 


986 






— 


24 


- 


- 


- 


- 


24 


- 


- 












41 


16 


66 


21,877 


2,457 


39 


16 


66 


23,013 


1,113 












38 


16 


66 


20,527 


2,457 


20 


16 


24 


11,204 


1,113 











FIRST ARMY— COUNT WIMPFFEN 



ORDRE DE BATAILLE OF 



IInd Corps. 
Liechtenstein. 

Isl Division. 
Jellaoic. 

1st Bde. Szabo. 

1st Btn. 9th Grenz Regt. 

12th Eegt 

2nd Bde. Wachter. 

2nd Btn. 10th Grenz Regt. 

46th Regt 

Artillery . . . . 

Total . . . 

Ivd Division. 
Hetdy. 
1st Bde. Kintil 

45th Regt 

2nd Bde. Hahn. 
4th Btn. 21st Regt. 
31st „ 
32nd „ 
39th „ 
47th „ 
54th „ 
Artillery . 

Total . 



JIanfcua garrison att. 
4th Btn. 1st Regt. 
33rd „ 
49th „ 

Cavalry (12th Hussars) 
Corps Artillery . 

Grand Total . 



2 S 

:i it 


i 


Effectives. 

i 
Men. i Hor.-5es., 


■ 1 ; _ ^ _ 
: 4 : — : — 

4 ■ — ; — 
— ; — : 16 


1 

1 1 


10 — ! le 


i 


■ 

'■ 4:': — 

^loj- 


8 
8 


— 


j 


i 

— i 4 : — 

- i - 1 32 
i i 


~~ 


- i 


22JI 4 : 


56 


17,710 


450 1 



niRD CORPS. 

Schwartzenberg. 

Isi Division. 
Sohonberger. 

1st Bde. Pokorn/. 

15th Jaegers . 

58th Regt. . . 
2nd Bde. Dienstel. 

13tli Jaegers . 

27th Regt. . . 
Artillery . 

Total . 



'2nd Division: 
Haberraann. 
1st Bde. Wetzlar. 
2nd Btn. 2nd Grenz, Itegt 

5th Regt 

2nd Bde. Hartung. 
23rd Jaegers . 
14th Regt. . . . 
3rd Bde. Rosgen. 
7th Jaegers . 
49th R«gt. . . . 
Artillery . . . 

Total . . 



Cavalry (10th Hussars) 
Corps Artillery . 

— ■ Grand total .... 



ISffcctives. 



=c ^ 



10 ; — 



16 — 
16 ; — 



15 



24 
24 

32 



IXth CORPS, 
Schaffgotsche. 

\sl Division. 
Handl. 

Lst Bdo. Oaatiglione. 

2nd Btn. 8th Grenz Regt. 

1 9th Regt. . . . 
2nd Bde. Winipffcn. 

1st Btn. 8th Grenz Ucgt, 

40th Regt. . . . 
3rd Bde. Suini. 

16th Jaegers . 

34th Regt. . . . 
Artillery . 

Total . . 

2nd Division. 
Crennevillc. 
1st Bde. Blumenoron. 
4th Jaegers . 
52nd R«gt. 
2nd Bde. Fehlmayr. 
Titler Grenz Btn. 

8th Regt 

Artillery . 

Total . . 



— Cavalry (12th Uhlans) 

— Corps Artillery . 



72 j 17,895 I 880 



Grand total 



.1 

1 


i 

o 

1 


a 


Effectives. 
Men. HoKcs. 


1 

4 


~ 







— 


I 

1 
4 


— 





— 


— 




24 


— 


— 


15 


— 


24 


— 


— 


1 
4 


— 


— 


■ 


— 


1 
4 


— 


16 


— 


— 


10 


-- 


lo; - _ 


_ 


4 


„ 






— 


— 


24 


— 


— 


25 


4 


64 


18,728 


480 



Xth corps. 
Wernhardt. 

\sl Division. 
Marziani. 

1st Bde. Maroicic. 

12th Jaegers .... 

15th Regt 

2ud Bde. Anthoine. 

1st Btn. 14th Grenz Regt. 

4th Regt 

3rd Bde. Jablonsky. 

20th Jaegers .... 

33rd Regt 

Artillery .... 

Total . . . 

'2nd Division. 
Wallemare. 
1st Bde. Schiller. 
5th Jaegers .... 

6th Regt 

2nd Bde. Mollinary. 
1st Btn. 13tli Grenz Regt. 
56th Regt. . . . ' . 
Artillery .... 

Total . 

Cavalry (4th Uhlans) . 
Corps Ai'tillery .... 

Grand total 



Effectives. 







• o 


Moil. 


Hoiscs. 


1 
4 

1 
4 

1 




= 


— 


— 


— 




— 


— ' 


4 


— 




— 


— 


— 


— 


24 


— 


; 


15 


— 


24 


— 


— 


I 
4 

1 

1 4 


— 


Hi 


— 


— 


10 


— 


16 


— 


— 


' — 


4 


— 


— 





: — 


— 


32 


— 


— 


; 25 


4 


72 


20,710 


520 



XlTH CORPS. 
Woigl. 

\st Division. 
Sohwartzel. 

1st Bdo. Sebottcndorf. 

loth Jaegers .... 

37th Itegt 

2nd Bde. Gre-schke. 

35th Regt 

Artillery .... 

Total . 

2nd Division. 
Blomberg. 
1st Bde. Baltin. 
2nd Btn. 5th Grenz Regt. 

9th Regt 

2nd Bde, Dobrzcn.sky. 
21st Jaegers .... 

42nd Regt 

3rd Bde. Host. 
2nd Btn. 9th Grenz Regt. 

57tli Regt 

Artillery .... 

Total . 



Cavalry (4th Uhlans) 

— Corps Artillery . 

Grand total 



1 _ ' — 

1 ~ : — 

4 _ ■ __ 

— -^ : 16 

6 i — I 10 



1 

4 


— 24 


— 


1 


15 


-!24 


— 


— 


— ; 


4 \ — 

— ; 8 


— 


— 


21 \ 


4 j 48 


12,486 


560 1 





CAVALRY DIVISION. 
Zedtwitz. 


Kifcctivcs. 
ten. liorsus. 


1st. Brigade. 
Vopatemy. 


- — 


3rd Hus.sars 

nth „ 

Artillery .... 


Z__^__=^ 


Total . . . 




•2nd Brigade. 

Lauingen. 

1st Dragoons .... 

3rd Dragoons .... 

Artillery .... 


- 1 — 


Total . . . 


■ 


Grand total . 




Army Artillery Reserve 



15 


«■; 












•s 














PO 


« 










8 


- 


8 



.TAILLE OF THE AUSTRIAN ARMY ON THE 24TH JUNE, 1859. 



16 



— 6 

— : 6 



12 
28 



Kffeutives. 



8 ; — i — 



SECOND ARMY— COUNT SCHLICK 



2,970 



1st corps. 
Clam Gallas. 

1st Division. 
Monteiiuovo. 

1st Bde. Pasathory. 

2nd Jaegers . 

60th Eegt. . . 
2nd Bde. Briinner. 

11th Grena Regt. 

29th Regt. . . 
Artillery . 

Total . 



Total . . 

Cavalry (12th Hussars) 
Corps Artillery. 

Grand total . "^ . 



a 


G 




Effectives. 






5 




^ 


C 
CO 


o 


Men. HordOd. 


1 











4 


— 


— 


— — 



— ; — 16 — — 

11 _ 16 I — — 



'2nd Division. 




Stankovios. 




1st Bde. Hoditz. 


1 


14th Jaegers . 


1 — 


48th Regt. . . . 


4 ^ — — 


2nd Bde. Reznicek. 




24th Jaegers . 


■ 1 ' - - 


16th Regt. . . . 


.1 4 - - 


Artillery . . . 


• i - - '« 



4 — 
— 24 



21 



4 56 



Vth corps. 
Stadion. 

Ist Division. 
Palffy. 

Ist Bde. Gaal, 

1st Btn. 1st Grcn/i Hogt. 

3rd Regt 

2nd Bde. Puclinor. 

4th Jaegers .... 

31st Regt 

3rd Bde. Bils. 

2nd Btn. 3rd Grenz Regt. 

47th Regt 

Artillery .... 

Total . . . 

2>id Ditfision. 
Sternberg. 
Ist Bde. Koller. 
1st Btn. 3rd Grenz Regt 
32nd Regt. 
2nd Bde. Pestetics. 
6th Jaegers . 
21st Regt. . . . 
Artillery . 



Total 



15,190 , 480 Cavah-y (12th Uhlan-s) 
',. Corps Artillery . . 

Grand total 



Kffectiveij. 



.Men. 



Uofrios. 



4 — : — 



15 



24 
24 



10 



16 
16 

20 
60 



19,596 : 480. 



VIIth CORPS. 
Zobel. 

1st Division. 
Hess. 

1st Bde. Wussin. 

2nd Btn. 1st Greuz Regt. 

1st Regt 

2nd Bde. Gablentz. 

1st Btn. 4th Grenz Regt. 

54th Regt 

Artillery . . . . 

Total . . . 

2nd DivUion. 
Lilia. 
1st Bde. Brandenstein. 
19th Jaegers . 
53rd Regt. . . . 
2nd Bde. Wallon. 

Ist Btn. 2nd Grenz Regt. 
22nd Regt. . . . 
Artillery . 



Total 



Cavalry (1st Hussars) 
Corps Artillery , 

Grand total 



1 — 

4 — 

1 — 

4 ■ — 



10 — 



Effectives, 



Hon. I Horses. 



16 

16 



— 16 — 



(10 


— 


16 


— 


— 


— 


4 


16 


— 


— 


i.!"i 


4 


48 


15,728 


480 



vmiH CORPS. 

Benedek. 

1st Division. 
Berger. 

1st Bde. Watervliet. 

2nd Jaegers .... 

7th Regt. 

2nd Bde. Kuhn. 

2nd Btn. 4th Grenz Regt. 

17th Regt. .... 
Artillery .... 

Total . . . 



2nd Division. 
Lang. 
1st Bde. Philippovic. 
5th Jaegers . 
1 Ith Regt. . . 
2nd Bde. Dauber. 
3rd Jaegers . 
30th Regt. . . 
3rd Bde. Lippert. 
9th Jaegers . 
59th Regt. . . 
Artillery . 

Total . 

Cavalry (1st Hussars) 
Corps Artillery . 
Attd. from Vlth Corpt 

Grand total 



i 


j 

CO 


5 


Effectives. 


1 


Men. 


Horses. 


1 '■ — 

4 — 

1 _ 
4 — 


II III 
II 112 


— 


10 

1 
4 

1 
4 


— 


; ■ ! 

16 ; — : _ ; 


- 




— 


1 
1 



CAVALRY DIVISION. 
MensdorfE. 

\st Brigade. 
Holstein. 

5th Dragoons 
6th Dragoons 
Artillery . 

Total . . 

2nd Brigade. 
Ziohy. 
1st Uhlans .... 
Artillery . 

Total . . 

Grand total 

Army Artillery Reserve 



1 

4 


— 


24 - 


; 


15 


— ; 24 i — 


— ; 


4 


4 


24 ; — 
8 ; — 


— 


29 


4 


72 1 20,160 


560 



1 


£ 

a 
5- 

3D 


1 
5 


Effectives. 


Men. 


Horses. 


'-I 6 

- ; 6 

j 


8 


— 


— 


— '■ 12 


8 : — ^ — 


— 


8 


8 




— 


— 1 8 


8 


— 




-J^- 


16 — i 2,600 
112 — — 



8'^June, 1859 MELEGNANO abovZ e.p.jn.. 




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